Baking | Stone Fruit & Quark Mousse Layered Cake … refreshing summer cake #stonefruitlove

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness!
If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
C. JoyBell C

Stone Fruit & Quark Mousse Layered CakeStone Fruit & Quark Mousse Layered Cake ... a light lemon scented sponge layered with  a homemade quark cheese & cream filling. The filling taken to a delicious summery high with a stone fruit pie filling inspired by a recipe from Pioneer Woman. Turned out to be a fruity and delicious birthday cake!

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake Another birthday, another cake. Summer birthdays are a little bothersome. Humid summer birthdays even more. My dad’s birthday falls in July. If the heat isn’t bad enough, with the monsoons here too, the humidity threatens to play spoilsport. Nothing behaves. NOTHING! The only bright spot … cartloads of stone fruit!

Summer Stone FruitThe cream does not get whipped up. The double cream that I have bought locally disappointed once again. Thankfully I had made some quark the night before as I had this Quark Mousse Cake with Roasted Balsamic Strawberries in my head.

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream CakeQuark adds a special yumminess to the cream filling. The slight undertones of tanginess of the curd cheese pair really well with stone fruit {and berries too}. I use quark a lot as you can see here. Now it makes me happy to see my friends and local food bloggers like Cookaroo and White Ramekins experiment with this very simple to make curd cheese.

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake I was in and out of the fridge with the cake. In weather like this, you have to work really fast. But it was fun. You learn to push the boundaries. A collar I didn’t think possible in this weather became possible. Shooting while piping it etc certainly wasn’t. 2 minutes out of the fridge in a hot kitchen and the lace collar curled up and threatened to melt.

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake I discovered a new stone fruit on the shelves this summer, actually only a day ago. It looks like a green plum, and I thought greengage maybe. But the guy at the bazaar muttered something quite inaudible like ‘pericosa‘. Googled forever and didn’t find anything. Leafed through one of my favourite cookbooks Fine Cooking In Season, and sure enough I found a listing under plums. The book is a wonderful reference on fresh produce in season. I’ve had it for 3 years and I turn to it often!

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake These are called Mariposa plums, and are being cultivated locally in Manali, nestled in the Kullu  Valley in the Himalayas. So pretty and pretty delicious too, I couldn’t believe the deep red inside when  I cut through one. Stunning!

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake & mariposa plumsSo in they went as well into the bowl with the pitted cherries with a few regular plums, all having a blast together. You could just do a cherry pie filling if you like. Our cherry season is at its fag end even as peaches and plums flood the bazaar.

Stone Fruit & Quark Cream Layered Cake I added some Camisoni premium lemon extract to the sponge. Lemon and fruit pair really well. The deep aromatic extract added a lot of flavour to the sponges. Together the lemon sponge, quark mousse and stone fruit gave the Stone Fruit & Quark Mousse Layered Cake the refreshing feel of summer.

Which brings me to the winners of the Camisoni tip and tricks giveaway. Our three winners are Yasmin, Andrea and Sangeeta. Will mail you soon for your mailing address! Congratulations to the three of you. Thank you all for the wonderful tips.

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

Baking | Cherry Yogurt Tart …. sometimes life can’t get simpler than a two ingredient tart filling. Happy 4th!!

“A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch. ”
James Bear

Cherry Yogurt TartCherry Yogurt Tart. This was a tart that swept me off my feet. It’s adapted from a recipe that keeps popping up on and off on blogs. With the flood of recipes to try, one tends to get lost and lose priority. Is it just me? Well this tart or pie {not sure which category it fell into} had been kept waiting too long. This turned out to be a tart, not a pie as most blogs call it. The Kitchn has a neat piece on Pie vs Tart 

A pie is a sweet or savory dish with a crust and a filling. The sides of a pie dish or pan are sloped. It can have a just a bottom, just a top, or both a bottom and a top crust. Pies are served straight from the dish in which they were baked.

A tart is a sweet or savory dish with shallow sides and only a bottom crust. The goal is a firm, crumbly crust. Tarts are baked in a pan with a removable bottom, or in pastry ring on top of a baking sheet so that it can be unmolded before serving.

Cherry Yogurt TartThere are several references to the recipe across the net. The origins are quite blurred. Most folk talk about the recipe being handed down from a great aunt and having got  it from a friend. The ingredients are the same. Strangely enough all it takes to make it is a pie crust or tart bottom, yogurt and condensed milk. {It’s vegetarian too. No eggs, no gelatin}

Stone fruitI had some yogurt draining in the fridge to make fro yo. It’s the season for frozen goodies but I had a really full freezer that day. So I thought cheesecake with summer fruit. A friend had recently reached out to me for a baked eggless cheesecake recipe. That was still playing in my head. {Hiral, this cherry yogurt tart is very close to a baked eggless cheesecake. We loved it!! I thought of you throughout.}

Cherry Yogurt Tart With muddled thoughts I figured images might inspire me, so I began googling for images … and BINGO! There it was. Just the perfect tart or pie with ingredients that I had on hand, well almost. What ‘clinched’ the deal was that I had a loose bottomed rectangular tart pan that Sous Chef had used. She really turned out a stunner.

Cherry Yogurt Tart Strange tart this. It’s a little unbelievable that you can turn out a set tart with just two basic ingredients with 10 minutes of baking. Defies logic. Yet, my recent tryst with the Simplest & Best Dark Chocolate Mousse that used two ingredients convinced me otherwise. I thought, “If that was sensational, this might well surprise too. ” 

Cherry Yogurt Tart And surprise it certainly did! Within 10 minutes of baking, it was a little firm to touch. I gently pulled it out of the oven to cool it on the rack and was scared to spill the filling. It hung on in there. ’twas a long overnight wait and once the kids were on the bus, I RACED to demold it. Looked on in amazement as it was firm.

Cherry Yogurt Tart My only concern is the biscuit base which didn’t remain very crisp. Most recipes refer to ‘tennis biscuits‘ which were new for me. Some more googling pointed towards South Africa where these biscuits are firm favourites. I think graham crackers might work a little better than the ginger nut cookies I used. CherriesSo with a tart tin from Sydney {one of my favourite buys to date}, a recipe with two basic ingredients, some balsamic roasted cherries in the fridge, I put together this tart. With my sis visiting from the US, being the 4th today, I thought I’d give the yogurt tart some blue and red too. Frozen blueberries which I bought to try locally {very disappointing} and white sprinkles did the trick!!

Cherry Yogurt TartThe verdict was ‘high fives’ all around. The texture and taste of the Cherry Yogurt Tart is very close to a cheesecake, and leaves you wanting for more. {Very satisfying in Mr PABs words}.

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


Baking | Walnut Meringue and Cherry Gateau … & a ‘Snugg’ review!

“A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.”
Benjamin Franklin

Walnut Meringue & Cherry GateauA Walnut Meringue and Cherry Gateau seemed an unlikely combination. I bravely ventured into unknown territory with my fingers crossed. It turned out to be quite a winner. The meringues baked up prettily. They are delicate creatures and very delicious if you are a nut lover. I love the idea of nutty meringues layered with cream and paired with fruit.

Walnut Meringue & Cherry Gateau That said, pairing a nutty meringue with pastry cream and fruit is never easy to slice. It doesn’t offer you ‘restaurant’ style neat slices. An ‘Eton Mess’ is closer to what lands up on the platter … but it’s a helluva tasty mess!

Walnut Meringue & Cherry Gateau

Walnut Meringue & Cherry Gateau This Walnut Meringue and Cherry Gateau was our little ‘celebration’ for Fathers Day. I had some whites left over from the Ginger Lemon Crème Brûlée. I dreamt of revisiting macarons, but it’s been raining cats & dogs the past 2 days. Macarons are fiddly creatures, humidity just adds to their ‘fear factor’.

Walnut Meringue & Cherry Gateau So I thought of pavlovas, and one thing led to another. I finally settled for a meringue cake, dacquoise type. Eventually what followed was a recipe using anything and everything I had on hand. Walnuts and cherries seemed like strange bedfellows. They proved themselves otherwise!

Walnut Meringue & Cherry Gateau SNUGGThe recipe was inspired by this Hazelnut Meringue Gateau I found while googling. Often if I’m looking for inspiration, it’s just easier to reach for the ipad or smartphone while working in the kitchen. So when the folk at The Snugg sent me an ipad case, it made me happy! It felt ‘comforting’ to own one!!

Walnut Meringue & Cherry Gateau SNUGG Are you part of the growing numbers who use smartphones and tablets to look up recipes and tips whilst cooking? I certainly am.  With this in mind, The Snugg has created sturdy, good quality cases to protect expensive devices from the hazards of a busy kitchen! A wipe clean exterior makes it even more perfect for the kitchen!

Walnut Meringue & Cherry Gateau SNUGG What did I like about the snugg ipad case? The first thing that struck me was the good quality and the neat design. The fit is fantastic. It’s also compact, like ‘snug compact’, which might explain the name SNUGG! The case has a sturdy feel to it and is very aesthetic. I liked the classic black, though you have a choice of ten colours. Gives your beloved smartphone or ipad a ‘protected’ feeling. A ‘snugg’ feel !!

With the promise of the perfect SNUGG fit, the finest materials and high quality craftsmanship, they are the biggest seller of their kind in the USA. Since the launch of The Snugg, they have been bought by celebrities and big enterprises alike. In fact, custom branded cases have been supplied to Cadillac, GMC and even the CIA!!!! The range is vast  -  cases for smartphones, ipad, ipad mini, tablets, kindle and accessories too.

Have you entered the premium baking extract giveaway? Do stop by here. Its a worldwide one.
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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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