Baking | GF Mango Almond Quark Roulade … & a Rs 6000 giveaway #inseason #mangoes #glutenfree #dessert #flipkart

“Marge, it’s 3 AM. Shouldn’t you be baking?”
Homer Simpson

GF Mango Almond Quark RouladeGF Mango Almond Quark Roulade … two of my most used and favourite combinations this summer – mango & quark. Add a third to it, almond meal, and there’s going to be some magic; in all possibility, deliciously gluten free too! Summer is the easiest time of the year to make quark, the wonderful creamy slightly tangy curd cheese. Once done, you got to move fast as it is perishable given temperatures hit 45C here through summer.

GF Mango Almond Quark Roulade That said, the record was recently broken at 46C and we might just be looking at 50c!!! The brighter side of course is that we are now into the peak of  stone fruit season, a season I love to love. I love doing Swiss Rolls with a mango filling, or for that matter, any seasonal fruit. Mangoes works really well in an ice cream roll too.

Mango Vanilla Bean Panna CottaMango Pastel de Tres Leches Can you tell that I am really enamoured by the king of fruit? You can find plenty of mango on PAB. The Mango Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta was a winner all the way, as also the memorable Mango Pastel de Tres Leches. Mango Quark MousseOh, and i whipped together a quick Mango Quark Mousse with some of the recent batch of quark and alphonsos. Was YUM! So it’s been mango all the way this past month.

Indian mangoes, Alphonso My earlier Strawberry Almond Roulade {Gluten free} came out beautifully. The minute I lay my eyes on these delicious alphonsos that Harini brought for me from Mumbai, I knew it was time to give the almond roulade another shot. I added some baking powder to the sponge as a last minute thought, separating the eggs, and adding a dash of cream of tartar too. GF Mango Almond Quark Roulade The roulade ‘rolled’ out FAB! The lad who doesn’t like mangoes came and asked me for another helping, commenting that ‘this mango dessert was good stuff’! Baking is fun, a science in many ways where experimenting teaches you  a lot! Baking powder, baking soda or no leavening, to use a regular flour , mixed grain or bake gluten free… so many choices!

PABWhat do I love about desserts, baking & food?  Textures, colours, fruit, seasons, pantry staples … everything inspires me. Adding a handful of a healthy almond meal to a dessert, swapping butter for olive oil, using a fruit to decrease the sugar, you’ll see all of this in my recipes. I’ve been obsessed with using fruit in desserts for a long time; the options are infinite and fun!

Do you like to bake? If yes, then I have a little contest and giveaway for you today…-

Giveaway – Win a Rs.6000 FlipkartVoucher

Giveaway headerI have exciting news for you, dear readers. You stand the chance to win a Rs.6000 Flipkart voucher and order all the little kitchen goodies you have always wanted! I whipped up a little competition for you and participating is as easy as making pancakes. Below you will find 5 easy questions that need to be answered. Post your answers in the comments below to be part of the Quiz-Giveaway. FYI, comments will be moderated so your answers are not visible to others.

Rules of the contest:
-You may only enter once
-The winner will be chosen at random
-The winner will recieve a Rs. 6000 Flipkart voucher
-All 5 answers must be correct in order to win the prize.
-You must be a resident of India.

Giveaway flipkartThe voucher is sponsored by, a website where you can find all of the latest coupons and deals online. Here is what they have to say about this exciting competition:

“We are extremely excited and honoured to have our giveaway featured on such a prominent blog. Everyone in the food industry knows who Deeba is, so we are very grateful that she chose to work with us. To the readers, we hope you have fun participating in this quiz, we had fun creating it and also learnt a few important things about baking in the process.”

But now enough talk, it’s time to Quiz up! Here are the 5 questions. Please remember to leave your answers in the comments box at then end. Also, do make sure you leave a valid email address! Good Luck!!

1) What is a good substitute to use in place of baking powder?

2) What fruit puree is often used as a substitute for fat?

3) True or False: frosting and icing are the same thing?

4) Which flour forms the most gluten?

5) Name a pitted fruit that can be baked into a pie.


Other Swiss rolls / roulades at PAB

Red Velvet Swiss Roll
Mango Ice Cream Swiss Roll
Star Anise Roll with Marmalade Sauce
Raspberry Pistachio Roulade

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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Baking| Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer Cake … Forever Nigella and Not Quite too!!

“Comedy just pokes at problems, rarely confronts them squarely. Drama is like a plate of meat and potatoes, comedy is rather the dessert, a bit like meringue.”
Woody Allen

Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer CakeIf you saw this post at Not Quite Nigella, one Lorraine posted ever so long ago, you’d fall at her feet and tell her to carry on with her heart shaped baking obsession forever. Forever NQN! I’ve been thinking of going a little red what with the Chinese New Year almost here and V Day round the corner. Nothing like some food for thought for the good folk out there who might be thinking of turning out something special for the day of love!

Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer Cake & CNYKung Hei Fat ChoyHappy CNY. Today begins the Year of the Rabbit. Hope it brings good luck for all of you!

I return to NQN from time to time, turning virtual pages, getting inspired on many levels, and this time I stopped at this page yet again. Missed making it last year around Valentines because I had found myself obsessed with a Red Velvet Cake Roll , or a RVC Roulade which I made with strawberries and ricotta. This year I had Lorraines heart firmly in my plans.Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer Cake‘We haven’t had dessert for 3 days’, he whined, ‘how is it possible that you haven’t made anything sweet for so many days?’ The teen isn’t asking because she is on a self proclaimed diet. I did notice her scraping an extra pat of butter on her bread yesterday, but my ‘eye’ turned blind. Teens will be teens. She also sneaked a truffle from the fridge after much self restraint 2 days ago.  As far as she isn’t starving herself, I’m good. Happy too that junk food is out,  and so are the fizzy drinks. Well almost, for now at least.Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer CakeWith the whining ringing in my head, a batch of home made quark to help the teen on a diet, I pushed the red date forward. It was time to get ‘Seduced by Chocolate‘ by both Nigella, as well as the Not Quite gal! I missed the first episode of Forever Nigella, and attempted to catch #2. The theme is ‘Seduced by Chocolate‘, so changes were introduced. This cake had connections, or rather, many cross connections.Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer CakeA strawberry meringue layer cake with a chocolate twist to Nigella Lawson’s recipe from Not Quite Nigella, the cake headed for Forever Nigella on Maison Cupcake. Bit of a tongue twister eh?  Some more ‘connect’… I used the last bit of  Valrhona from the lovely Shayma @ TheSpice Spoon in this gorgeous cake, and topped it off with slivered almonds from the sweet Madhulika in Nasik. All this love shared for St Valentine!I baked the cakes in a heart shaped Tefal baking tin, one that I had bought years and years ago at a ridiculously high price. It’s a non stick pan, and have learnt over the years that good quality lasts long, and gives great results. I didn’t line the sides with baking parchment, and expected to scrape the meringue off the sides, but JOY… the good tin let the meringue and the chocolate cake come free with minimal fuss!Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer CakeI had to slave harder than lucky Lorraine though. She had more than 1 heart tin for sure {which possibly explains her heart shaped baking obsession at the time}, but I had only one! That meant 2 cakes baked separately, more washing, more whining … but wonderful baking therapy the minute the first one came loose. More changes … I didn’t add slivered almonds to the bottom layer. I substituted the cornflour in Nigella’s recipe with cocoa powder. I also added an extra tbsp of milk to the cake batter after reading comments on Lorraine’s blog that the cake was a tad dry. Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer CakeIn addition, I gave the cakes a brushing of sugar strawberry syrup to keep it all moist. The filling of course had to be low fat keeping in mind the teen and her diet, so I used a combination of low fat cream and home made quark. The result was delicious, seductive and comparatively guilt free. In retrospect, I might have tried using oil instead of butter. I absolutely love  the charm meringue cakes offer. Made something very similar in the past, Chocolate Meringue Strawberry Cream Slice , and yet another –  Chocolate Coffee-Almond-Meringue Layer Cake {in the latter, the meringue was sandwiched within the cake}.Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer CakeVisually very appealing, the colours contrasting beautifully, and delicious in every bite. It took me a couple of hours to make both sponges & get the cake together, but you can do it quicker if you have 2 similar sized tins. The original recipe used round spring-form tins. I set my quark curd 2 days in advance, so it was ready for use the morning I baked the cakes. If you want, you can make the quark cheese, otherwise there’s always the indulgent alternative – whipping cream!Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer CakeThe cake batter is quite thick and needs to be pushed around to spread. Also, my meringue balooned up unevenly while baking, but that happened to me the last few times as well. Not sure it it’s the way it should be, but it deflated pretty soon and evened out after I took it out of the oven. It wasn’t a crisp meringue, but a pleasantly soft, chewy one, with wonderfully toasted almonds on top.

{Note to self: Must ask Lorraine about the meringue, as hers looks rather firm and crisp in her pictures}

Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer Cake

Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer Cake
adapted from Not Quite Nigella
125g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
100g very soft unsalted butter
300g caster sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 tbsp milk
25g flaked almonds
200ml low fat cream
2-3 tbsps powdered sugar (adjust according to sweeteness of strawberries}
200gm quark,
200g strawberries, chopped
Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer Cake
For the meringue cake:
Preheat oven to 200C. Line, butter and flour two 22cm spring-form tins, or heart tins. {I lined the bottoms}|
Weigh out the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a bowl.
Cream the butter and 100g of the caster sugar in another bowl until light and fluffy.
Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the butter and sugar, saving the whites to whisk later. Gently fold in the weighed-out dry ingredients, add the vanilla, then sir in the milk to thin the batter. Divide the mixture between the two prepared springform tins.
Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add the remaining 200g caster sugar. Spread a layer of meringue on top of the sponge batter in each tin and sprinkle the almonds evenly over.
Bake for 30-35 mins, by which time the top of the almond-scattered meringues will be a dark gold. (I turned down the temperate to 180C as my oven is fan forced and the top was a little too cooked so perhaps turning it down even further would be better)
Whip the cream with sugar to soft/medium peaks. Reserve.
Beat the quark until creamy and smooth. Fold the whipped cream through it.
Paint a sugar syrup to the chocolate sides of the sponge if desired. Lay one cake on the serving platter, chocolate side up, top with the quark filling. Sprinkle over with chopped strawberries, and top with the other cake, chocolate side down. Chill until ready to serve.

Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer Cake♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

MALLOWS ANYONE? It’s the DARING BAKER time of the month!

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”
Cecil Beaton

The July Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet
. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and
Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the
Food Network.

In Nicoles words, “I’m a huge fan of Gale Gand, I have tried a lot of her recipes and they are such a huge success. For July’s challenge though I wanted to try something different and I wanted to do Gand’s version on my favorite store bought cookies which are the Peppridge Farm Milano Cookies and the Mallows (Chocolate covered Cookies). I’ve been wanting to try this recipes but just haven’t have the chance to do so or to be honest haven’t have the courage to tackle homemade marshmallow yet, until now.” Mallows (Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies) recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network. Cookie heaven, and that’s just what this months challenge was all about. Pleasure packed into a fabulous cookie! Dessert bites, light as air, and ever so indulgent!! Do stop by at Nicole’s blog @Sweet Tooth for the recipe.Procrastination never got the better of anyone, least of all me, as far as typing the post goes. Got the mallows ready in the 2nd week of July, & was quite prepared to try the Milanos. Fate had other plans for me; it always does! Schools had barely opened after a 2 month long summer vacation, & this Friday had been bookmarked for the Milano. Unfortunately, the school had to be shut down again for sanitization due to a number of H1N1 cases among students. Sigh, sorry Milanos… With the kids at home, nothing in my life moves. It’s been an extended short break for them, & I wonder why I waited so long to get typing the post. With D-day tomorrow, here I am trying to type my thoughts as July sweeps by us. What happened to the month? Life has actually been reduced to a blur! Days merging into one another, and as always, so much to do, & so little time. Being on twitter doesn’t help, so I’ve torn myself away from it for the past 2 days! FOCUS!!

Onto the challenge. Hosted by Nicole, the call was to make one, or both, of the cookies on offer – Milanos and/or Mallows (Chocolate covered cookies). I had good intentions of trying both, but grabbed the mallows first. WOW…marshmallows have been on my list of things-to-do for ever. Courage to try them always missing, which is why I’m a HAPPY DB today, with a satisfied sweet tooth. Thank you Nicole!! Some things just get moved up in queue from want to do, to have to do! Making Mallows has been the best cookie experience I’ve had, & by far the most involved & exciting. DELICIOUS & IMPRESSIVE for homed-baked cookies, we couldn’t get over them. Got huge thumbs up from the whole family, & for once, even from myself.
A huge issue however was the heat & humidity! Summer months in North India are by far the worst in the year, where power outages rule our life, butter flows merrily at room temperature, & chocolate almost doesn’t need a double boiler to melt!! Get the point? OK, so that’s what I was up against this month, with temperatures running into the 40C’s & humidity at an all time high of almost 87-90%. Had to turn to fabulous pastry chef & DB Helene @Tartlette on good ole Twitter to seek advice on the chocolate coating. A few tweets later, with my doubts cleared and a fan in action, I got set, & enjoyed making these beauties. Mallows are a fabulous cookie to make, & only once they come together under the chocolate coating, do you realise the magic you’ve created. The cookie base is crisp & light as air (I had my doubts about the base cookie, & was proved a 100% wrong). The marshmallows were FUN to make, almost uncertain again that I would manage, so I worked with them a little gingerly. I didn’t pipe on big glops of marshmallow on the cookie because I thought they would slide right off & spread uncontrollably due to the heat, but surprise, surprise! They held their ground, & beautifully. The chocolate coating was fun & very satisfying. I thought everything would fall apart once in the melted chocolate, but this part was a breeze! The other challenge of course was getting the chocolate to set, which it did only in the fridge, & then trying to get some good ‘unbloomed‘ shots. Not altogether possible, because the coating melted & gathered condensation as soon as it was out of the fridge. The mallows TASTED FABULOUS though, & am so glad I made these. Could never imagine I would something as delightful as these from scratch one day! YUM! The other problem was that I got way too many cookies out of the batch, almost 1-2 dozens still sitting in the box. The marshmallow & melted chocolate weren’t sufficient for the whole batch of cookies, which were almost 8 dozen! Maybe I rolled them too thin, but it was 1/8″ alright. I got a few mallows sans the chocolate coating, so did them up with different toppings. Drizzled scraped melted chocolate coating over a few, with chocolate shavings. Sprinkled some citrus sugar over others etc.The citrus sugar idea came from Audax Artifex’s post on the forum at DB. Was a pleasure to make it. I make lime juice for the kids everyday when they return from school. So as a routine now, I microplane the zest off & run the zest the microwave for 2-3 minutes till dry. Rub the zest into the sugar well with your fingertips, & voila, you have some good citrus sugar. Thank you Audax…I love it! The marshmallows and chocolate coating ran out pretty soon. So something had to be done with the base cookies that got left over. Crumbs leftover from a Chocolate Bundt Cake that I make often, mixed in with some thick chocolate ganache, gave birth to some Chocolate Sandwich Leftover Cookies! What’s not to love about left-overs? I ♥ them!!
Another good challenge completed & enjoyed. Thank you also to Lis & Ivonne, our founders, for this daringly fun kitchen. Life being a DB is certainly exciting. Do check out what the other Daring Bakers have been mallowing around with HERE!