Happiness is…….sharing what you love!

If I weren’t a baker, I’d be a teacher! 

And being able to share and teach my love for desserts is what gives me joy. Being able to make lighter versions of comfort foods. Being able to make gelatine free versions of beloved desserts like panna cottas and chocolate mousses. And finally making eggless avatars of traditionally eggy desserts.

Yesterday’s workshop featured 4 desserts and their lighter, “healthier” versions!

This is a Rosemilk panna cotta made the traditional way, with gelatine.


A layer of Rose syrup glazes the top. With dried organic rose petals.

And here is a lighter, gelatine free version.


Delicate and with the mesmerising wobble of the traditional panna cotta!


Bailey’s Chocolate mousse with meringue.


Lemon-Rosemary Serradura.


Lemony and light, with amazing textures.


Apple-berry crumble with a gluten-free topping.

Come and be addicted!


My cake journey began a long time back. I was fascinated by baking as early as 12, and would eagerly pour through cookbooks and recipes looking for simple things to bake.

But while my cakes slowly began to taste good, my finishing left much to be desired. “Rustic” was a polite and politically correct way to label them. Three years back, I finally took the plunge and decided to learn about fondant and sculpting sugar figures.

My very first fondant covered cake was a gift for Anaya’s birth. Covering an orange cake with homemade fondant with no clear idea on how to do it, I concentrated on my model of a sleeping baby. I call this one – “The cake that launched a thousand more!”

Anaya, recently turned three! And her mom and dad asked me to make a Frozen cake for her birthday.

We decided to have young Elsa and Anna on the cake, building Olaf. A delightfully moist chocolate cake covered with dark chocolate ganache is enrobed with blue fondant. I used silver lustre dust to paint swirls on the sides of the cake. The giant snowflake on the top of the cake is painted free hand, also in silver.

Elsa, Anna and Olaf are created in fondant. Needless to say, Anaya loved her cake!

Tyger, Tyger….

The Tyger

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake




Road to India

It was wonderful meeting Fae in person!

An Ode to Butterscotch

Oh Butterscotch, where have you been all my life?

All these years, I turned my nose up at your homespun appearance and simple charm,  preferring to court your blasé city-girl cousin, Caramel!

Caramel, that brittle, bittersweet beauty. Hard hearted and unforgiving! Creating huge insecurity in me due to my inexperience with sugar thermometers and such other sophisticated tools of flirtation.

Butterscotch- easy going, rustic looking, simple……but addictive. Butterscotch. Delicious butterscotch.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

On ice creams,  on puddings, on fruit, on cereal. And by the spoon….mmmmmm

I’m sharing this secret recipe that’s been in the family vaults for generations, so that you can make your own….and I don’t have to share.

Butterscotch Sauce

Makes about 1 cup (or just enough to hoard and eat by yourself)

Butter 100g or 1/2 cup
Brown sugar 2/3 cups, firmly packed
Fresh cream 1/2 cup

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.

Add the brown sugar and stir until melted and bubbling. About 2 minutes.

Take the saucepan off the heat and add the cream. Continue stirring and cook over gentle heat, until it forms a sauce.

Cool, then bottle. Serve over ice cream, or drizzled over cake.



Rainbow Cake

“Life is like a rainbow,
You need both sun and rain to make its colour appear”


It turns out that I’m not the only one in love with rainbows!

Every child below 10, that’s celebrating its birthday, regardless whether girl or boy, loves rainbows or rainbow cakes.

I’ve made several of these rainbow tie-dye cakes lately, and they are fun to do.

Yes, they involve more washing up, and LOTS of gel colours, but they are simple enough to make, and dramatic when cut.

Six year old Nandini wanted a rainbow cake, and I decided to make a little Rainbow Dash to go on the cake.

What you need:

A tasty vanilla cake batter
Gel colours in purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red
6 equal sized bowls
6 spoons
2, 8″ round tins, lined and sprayed

I used my yummy 1-2-3-4 recipe as the base, and divided it between 6 bowls.

Each portion was coloured with food coloring gels to make deep colours.

Starting with the purple, pour it into the bottom of each tin.

Pour the blue batter onto the purple. It will spread the purple batter out to the edges of the tin.

Next, pour the green. Follow with the yellow, orange and end with the red.



Once the batter it poured into the tins, gently rap the base of the tin on a folded towel, to spread it out.

Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is done.

Cool the cakes, then wrap in cling film and freeze for a day.

To frost and decorate, you need:

Buttercream of choice
Cake boards, 8″, 12″
Serrated knife
Offset spatula
Gel colours

Tort the cakes to form 4 layers. You will have a vibrant rainbow cross section.

Use a little buttercream to “stick” down the first layer onto an 8″ cake board.

Use a good 1/2 cup of frosting between each layer, ending with the flat bottom of one of the cakes, on top. I left my buttercream white, as the cake was colourful enough, and I planned on putting a rainbow on the sides.

Crumb coat the cake. Chill. Then cover again with a generous coating of frosting.



While the crumb coat was chilling, I coloured my fondant, using the same 6 colours I’d used for the batter. I rolled thin cylinders and formed them around a glass bowl to create a curved shape.

Since I had a lot of left over fondant, I made little balls in each colour, to use as a border.

Once the cake is finished, move it onto the larger cake board, securing in place with a daub of buttercream.

I added the rainbow to the side of the cake, then used the balls of fondant to form a border.





The pièce de résistance was the little Rainbow Dash topper on the cake!

Have a wonderful rainbow filled day!



Women- in Literature and Lore

Our new Study Group had begun! And it’s a topic close to my heart.

Here is our write up. We have 12 lovely ladies who’ve signed up and have chosen strong and inspiring women to present on!


20140211-001733.jpg Esther

Woman has inspired mankind from time immemorial.

As Gaia the Mother of Humanity, as Penelope the ever loyal wife, as Saviti, daughter par excellence!

“Woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved,” wrote Matthew Henry, in 1708.

Beautiful words. But far from reality!

For centuries, women were relegated to the position of the weak that needed protection. The fragile that needed sheltering. Puny, powerless. Denied the respect and equality that they deserved.

For millennia women have dwelt in the shadows of their male counterparts. Seen, but not heard. Needed, but peripheral. Subjugated, sidelined and suppressed.

But despite being ignored or overlooked, women have always inspired mankind. This SG focuses on strong women of mythology and fiction who have empowered countless others ; who have ignited the imagination of a million more.

Be it a Draupadi, determined to avenge her humiliation, or a Sayuri held back by strict social constraints. A Kunti, raising five children in a hostile court, bereft of relatives and allies or a Mulan battling prejudice while warring with the enemy.

Choose your hero from either the classics or from contemporary literary works. From mythology or from modern lore. Choose a woman or women whose ideology resonates with you.


Some strong women from literature:

Mingmei Yip: Peach blossom pavilion, Skeleton Women, Nine fold heaven

Arthur Golden: Memoirs of a Geisha

Lisa See: Snow Flower and the secret fan

Khaled Hosseini: Mariam and Laila of a Thousand Splendid Suns

And some from ancient mythology:

Hangaku Gozen