Simplicity! Green tea cake/pastries

The  first time I made the green tea cake was with butter cream frosting, though I enjoyed the cake, butter cream frosting was totally out of place, it didn’t gel well with the cake (wrt my taste). After that series of time I tried with fresh cream, simpler but a killer combo! Few weeks before while I was in Netherlands along with a friend, we binged on most delicious sushi, chicken wings and finished it off with a scoop of green tea ice and black sesame seed ice. Black sesame seed ice cream was interesting not something I long or look forward to eat again….but green tea ice cream I always long for. Since making ice cream wasn’t in agenda, I had to opt for green tea cake. Made them as sheets and layered them as little pastries along with fresh whipped cream. Everyone at the work place enjoyed it Tada!. Though this recipe was not intended for the blog purpose (no fancy pictures), I have to record them here since cake was super light and spongy! Happy baking!

A guest post by Kankana Saxena from Sunshine & Smile – Cream Puffs filled with Strawberry and Mascarpone

I’m trying my best to keep up with race of time, it is ridiculously running fast, possibly there is no way I could make it go bit slow…..sigh! Anyways I have started writing my thesis and the D day is not so far…shall keep you all posted as soon as it gets official, there is endless list of things to complete, send me good wishes folks, to reach the red line!

This week guest post is from Kankana of Sunshine & Smile chirpy young lady, exactly as her blog name says, very positive and encouraging! She never fails to impress me with every single post she makes. She is one among my friends with whom I very quickly gelled with, at-least from few emails I felt she is like my childhood friend, she being so organised tolerated my absent-mindedness. Thank you Kankana for coming over and making such a gorgeous dessert. Let me say it was a surprise dessert for me, thought I knew its gonna be a dessert I hardly knew wat it was….and these little darlings made my morning a day before. They took me to the days in Rome where I indulged in Sicilian dessert, as soon my defense is over I’m sure to bake them. So people jump over to Sunshine & Smile not only for her wonderful and indulging recipes but her beautiful pictures….you are sure to get hooked …few fav of mine are  ohh mushrooms,  Rosemary in cookies  and Baigan bharta pizza

Thanks a lot Ananda for inviting me over to your gorgeous space. It’s truly an honor! 

I visited Ananda’s blog few months back and fell in love with it immediately, the layout, the photography and her baking skill, she is one talented girl. We became friends very quickly and with her busy schedule, we hardly get time to chat much but we stay connected. And when she said ’my heart always beats for sweets, anytime of the day’, I wanted to make something sweet for her.

I am not much of a sweet tooth person, but there are few sweet treats to which I will never say ‘No’ and one of those is Cream Puffs. After some serious thought and hours of internet browsing, I decided to take an attempt and bake it at home.
And thank god I did … cause they were delicious.

I was surprised and smiling from cheek to cheek as I saw those cream puffs rising tall in the oven. Kept my fingers crossed and hoped that it doesn’t fall flat after a while. It didn’t and they were still standing firm when I took these out of the oven. I kept staring impatiently for these to cool down and after a while, I held one in my hand.. they were perfect (at least in my world)!

I jumped like a crazy girl, told the whole world about it and did my happy dance for a very long long time :)
I am not much of a baker and that explains why I don’t have any piping bag, without which it’s tough to give the puffs a neat shape. Therefore, I improvised and used a zip-lock bag as my piping bag and as you can see, the shape weren’t that bad either.
After the puffs came out the way I wanted, I had to look for some filling to use and what’s better than mascarpone with strawberries, right?

It took me hardly any time to whip up the filling. The best way to enjoy these puffs is to slit these in half, spread your choice of cream filling and let these chill in the refrigerator for a while.
It was all worth the wait!

Every bite was delicious.. buttery.. creamy.. and the berries made it sweet and juicy. A perfect treat with pure indulgence!


This will make about 8 to 9 puffs.
Ingredients:
For the puffs
ñ 6 tbs unsalted butter
ñ 1 cup water
ñ 1-1/2 tsp sugar
ñ a pinch of salt
ñ 3 large eggs
ñ 1 cup all-purpose flour
For the filling
ñ 1 cup mascarpone cheese
ñ 1/2 cup heavy cream
ñ 1 cup powdered sugar (may vary depending of tartness or sweetness of strawberries)
ñ 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
ñ 1 cup strawberry thinly sliced
Directions:
In a deep pan, boil water and drop the butter in the water.
After the butter is melted, add sugar, salt and keep stirring.
Bring the heat to medium, add all the flour at once and using a wooden spoon, keep beating until the mixture forms a dough. This should take about 3 minutes.
Stop the heat and remove the pan from the stove.
The next step is to mix the eggs with the dough which can be done in two different ways :-
1. Beat all the eggs in a bowl. Then, pour the beaten eggs in the dough little bit at a time and keep stirring until all the eggs are mixed nicely with the dough (as shown here).
OR
2. Put the hot dough in the food processor, add the eggs all at once and pulse it for a while till it mixes properly (as shown here).
I used the second method to mix the dough with eggs until it was smooth and thick in texture.
Next, spoon or pipe 8 to 9 mounds of dough onto the baking sheet. Make sure to space them about 1-1/2 inch apart as they will spread while baking.
Wet the tip of your finger and tap the top of the dough slightly just to make sure it’s smooth on top.
Bake it at 400 F for 15mins.
Reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for another 30 minutes or until they are all puffed up and get golden brown in color.
Once done, let these cool completely before you start filling.
For the filling, whip together mascarpone cheese with heavy cream and sugar till it’s firm. Chop the strawberries and mix it with the cheese mix.
For final plating: Cut the puffs in half , spread the strawberries and cheese mix on the bottom half, place the top half of the puff shells and dust some icing sugar on top. You can serve it immediately, but I feel it tastes best when chilled for about an hour before you serve.
Enjoy!

Laugh to Death Kitty Party – Strawberry, Kiwi Creamy Mini Tarts

Summer is on full swing in Finland, feels like being in India, air is sharp enough that it gets through our skin and a layer of sun-block, doesn’t help. During July technically we see countable number of people working in departments. We girls, myself, Shanthi, Asima and Ritika (new Punjabi Kudi, joined the group of PhD, welcome darling! Official) have our coffee breaks during week days at 14:00 and will let it continue for short chit chat, gossip and laughter. To give it more life, Shanthi organised  a kitty party last before Saturday. Technically it was supposed to start at 18:00. Myself and Asima started of well dressed perfect for kitty party and half way done, Asima’s bicycle gear ‘broke’, yea strange. So we had to take bus and wait in bus stop for 30 minutes and enjoyed sight seeing of passengers, wearing summer dress, trust me it was fun!