Baking | Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake … a splash of pink in December!

“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

Lime & Strawberry Cream CakeLime & Strawberry Cream Cake … a very simple cake made in the Philips AirFryer a few days ago. 15 minutes was all I could manage that day. There have been no desserts of late and the kids were beginning to make strange unhappy sounds. There’s been barely any ‘free time’ what with final exams on for both teens which are well underway. The cake came out surprisingly nice. Lime & Strawberry Cream CakeDidn’t take pictures of it once made as it was slightly domed and I didn’t have time to pretty it up. One bite down and I thought it was really nice. Lime and strawberries pair well. The second round of the strawberry season has finally begun here in North India. Can’t have too much of this delicious fruit.

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake The sponge was soft but not moist as always because I whisked in the flour instead of folding it in G E N T L Y. So I didn’t get a ‘light as air’ sponge. Still it was quite soft. Interesting!

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake The easiest way to get cake moist is to give it a good soaking with a simple sugar syrup. Love doing that when I make my pineapple cream cake. If you are doing a black forest cake, you can always reduce the syrup the cherries are canned in, and add a dash of Kirsch or lime juice to it to moisten the sponge.

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake I thought the Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake was nice enough to share, a quick easy cake, make ahead, light and delicious. A slice was hidden away for a picture opportunity while the rest of the cake was devoured by the happy family. Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake Then late that evening the bell rang. It was the courier with the Samsung Netbook that I had won at the Del Monte recipe contest hosted at Indiblogger.  My entry was the Tropical Cream Pie. Much excitement followed and we found a candy pink gizmo. Even though I’m not a pink person, the netbook is really pretty and very handy! I ♥ it!!

Seems to be an early Christmas over and over again. I am feeling quite pampered … maybe too pampered! First the Philips AirFryer, then Finla spoilt me silly, next Mr PAB got me a Samsung S3. My sister sent me more stuff as her better half was visiting … and just when I thought I had everything and more I could ever ask for, PINK came into my life!

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake December’s here already. A clutch of days to fly through, a year that’s been packed to the gills. So much happening in this foodie world. Oh, I forgot to tell you that I was pleasantly surprised with some fabulous tea from a beautiful tea company in China. Yes China! And yes tea! Teavirve Blurberry TeaIt’s funny because I am a 100% coffee addict and never drink tea. My first foray into tea was at the Aussie MasterChefs breakfast meet where Sangeeta talked me into sipping some lavender tea. It was wonderful. Then she got me some beautiful green tea from Darjeeling from a recent visit. Teavirve TeaThis herbal and green tea from Teavirve was a nice coincidence. In the bag were samples for green tea, and for Blueberry Fruit Tea and Apple Awakening Fruit Tea. The green tea was similar to others that I have recently sampled, but it was the Blueberry Fruit Tea that was amazing, and stole my heart. Beautiful aromas and subtle flavours of blueberry, black currant, roselle and grapes. The teen is in love with this tea!

Lime & Strawberry Cream Cake The Apple Awakening Fruit Tea is really refreshing too … teasing the palette with an intriguing combination of apple and lemon.  With such an extensive selection which can be shipped across the world, Teavirve is a great gifting option. Green, white, black, Oolong, Pu-erh, herbal, fruit, ice, organic, flavoured … the variety is endless.Teavirve Blurberry TeaTo make the range complete, Teavirve offer a stunning range of teaware too. {They offers worldwide free shipping for orders over $30 … you should check out there collection.}

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Baking & Giveaway | Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake … and a Retro Giveaway {#zansaar}

“A little too much chocolate is just about right.”

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake  “Happy December”! Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake … a cake as delicious as it sounds. There comes a time when you heed a certain call, and you succumb to the temptation of dark chocolate all over again! Pair chocolate with berries … cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and there are good times ahead! Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake This was yet another cake that just happened on the go. The culprit as always – too much to do, too little time. Thankfully chocolate is something that hardly ever lets you down. Use dark chocolate, and you can kiss ‘hardly‘ goodbye. Dark chocolate always delivers! This Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake was for my Mums birthday a few days ago. Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake I hit a ‘cake block‘ and decided to bake out of the Chocolate Bible by Le Cordon Blue. Quick check of star rating and Sachertorte was the saviour! I had all the ingredients in the pantry, even apricot jam. I also had 4 egg whites in the fridge trying to gracefully age for macarons. The macarons would have to wait!Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream CakeBaking the cake was a breeze.What bothered me though was that cake was flat-tish as the tin I used was bigger than the specified one. That I didn’t like! By the time I was done with driver duties, doing lunch {hail the AirFryer and chicken tikkas} etc, there was no time to look at the book. All I knew was that I wanted a layer of filling to give the cake some height.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream CakeDark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake A Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Cake ‘happened’. It was sublime! Dark, deep, divine, luscious chocolate, a beautiful raspberry cream filling to go with it, and a ganache like velvet … smooth, dark, rich! Of late, I have begun posting recipes based on weight and not cup measures; an attempt to standardise recipes . I have something for you today dear readers.Zansaar giveaway on Passionate About Baking

I am glad to offer my readers in India a Retro Kitchen Electronic Scale with a Retro Kitchen Worktop Saver from the beautiful online site Zansaar. I have partnered with them to bring you the above from their exclusive Vintage Pantry collection. A bold and lively interplay of black and white to lighten up those kitchen chores …


Have you been to Zansaar? Zansaar means ‘world’. I love the colour and vibrancy this online destination offers . The selection is vast – vintage, quirky, vibrant, colourful, retro. It’s a one stop shop for all things food, home and garden. Whether it is black and white that grabs your fancy, or a splash of vibrant  yellows, you’ll find something here.

Passionate About Baking Zansaar Giveaway

So dear readers, if you’d like to win this beautiful retro scale and worktop saver from Zansaar, please leave a comment saying which product from Zansaar  catches your eye.

This giveaway is open to Indian residents, or anyone with an Indian postal address. You can enter if you don’t have a blog too. Please make sure you leave a contact {else mail it to me at vindee {at} airtelmail {dot} in}.

The giveaway closes on the 15th of December. 

To increase chances of winning you could do any of the following. Please leave an additional comment for each of the following:

1. “Like” PAB on Facebook.

2. “Like” Zansaar on Facebook.

3. Follow @vindee on Twitter and tweet the following : Win a @zansaar giveaway from @vindee #giveaway #zansaar

4. Follow on Zansaar on Twitter.

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Baking | Stone Fruit Crisps {Gluten Free} … Have a Happy 4th!

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Albert Einstein

Stone Fruit Crisps It’s been a summer of discontent here in North India, Gurgaon specifically as we’ve been subjected to the worse power cuts ever in a summer that’s been the worst in 33 years. The temperature touched 43-45C the whole of last week, and we went without power for 48 hours! It took a protest that blocked roads for hours to get heard. Meanwhile, everything in the fridge obviously threatened to spoil! One good thing … the stone fruit got perfectly ‘ripe for dessert';  hence these Stone Fruit Crisps!Stone Fruit CrispsCrisps are wonderful light and easy to make desserts that celebrate seasonal fruit. They have a streusel like topping which is baked ‘crisp’ and gives way to soft cooked fruit below! Crisps usually have oats, butter and brown sugar … and mine went gluten free! I love fruit bakes and something as quick as this is amazing! Stone Fruit Crisp2 days sans oven was enough to drive the baker in me mad! Even if I didn’t have the energy to bake, just the thought of perishables spoiling got to me. Exhausted with extreme heat, I found myself cooking up most of the stuff in my freezer! So we had good food all the time, and coolers too! Did I forget to tell you that the summer vacation got extended due to high temperatures? Yes, that happened too, so no respite for Mama!Chicken mince with eggplantI made a delicious Chicken keema with baingan {mince with eggplant} … strange combination but its what I had on hand, and it came out finger licking good. Incidentally I made it twice on one day as it got polished off the first time around, and I had more mince in the freezer {and no electricity of course!}.Summer coolersI made summer coolers, many summer cooler … a strawberry mango punch, aam ka panna {Indian mango cooler}, a bel cooler {wood apple cooler which was definitely prettier than tastier}, a watermelon cooler. Anything that threatened to expire was tirelessly salvaged! To kill myself further, I even took pictures! Then came …Red Harissa… another jar of HOT red harissa and some very reduced fat KFC style burgers! Sometimes one can hardly believe all the work that gets done when there is no electricity!! {In case you are wondering, we don’t use electricity for the stove. We use a gas supplied through a cylinder … so that is is probably a good thing!} Oh and I made a Quark & Cherry Verrines too … no bake stuff!!KFC Style Burgers {low fat} & Quark & Cherry VerrinesThen sometime yesterday we had power restored and the kids looked so relieved, as did the poor dog in a fur coat. She was the first to race for the air conditioner, and slept the whole day through! So did the teens. It’s uncanny to think that as kids we lived through this as an accepted normal situation! Not a whimper, no backup yet happy go luck! Stone FruitAnyway,  woke up this morning and my load of of stone fruit were ripe, ripe for dessert, so I set to work on something quick. While mixing the fruit I was curious to see if I could make the bake gluten free, so I tossed in some almond meal instead of plain flour to absorb the extra moisture. Stone Fruit CrispsIn the topping as well, I skipped the flour and added some almond meal. It’s always fascinating to see fruit crumbles and crisps bubble over the fruit juices! The crisp was delicious, bowl scraping good! Beautiful flavours!Stone Fruit CrispsThen I noticed that the colours of my little ceramic pots and bubbling juices were white, blue and red, so what better time to post this but now! Happy 4th of July to my readers from the US! Have a wonderful day. Rustle up a crumble if you have 10 minutes, else stay cool and try this Summer Fruit Jelly that I created for Del Monte. You can find the recipe on their website here. Summer Fruit Jelly It was fun and was made by my lad! Simple as can be yet stunning to look at, and delicious beyond expectation {if I may say so}!!Summer Fruit Jelly

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