Baking| Strawberry & Kiwi Bavarian Cake with Razzle Dazzle Macarons … Vanilla Bavarian Mousse with Strawberries & Basil

“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.”
Benjamin Franklin

Strawberry & Kiwi Bavarian Cake & Vanilla Bavarian Mousse... with Razzle Dazzle Macarons 1Some days I just dazzle myself with my efficiency, days that are few and far between, but it gives me confidence that I can still achieve quite a bit on better days!! It was a cake for my SILs birthday, AND macarons, all done on fast track. Inspiration came from our MacTweets theme for January and the Bavarian mousse on this Chocolate Bavarian Mousse Cake; that is how this Strawberry & Kiwi Bavarian Cake with Razzle Dazzle Macarons came about to be.Strawberry & Kiwi Bavarian Cake with Razzle Dazzle MacaronsOn a day like this I raced and baked a sponge, made a Bavarian cream, then a mousse, layered a cake and even had it chilling in a couple of hours!! Even more dazzling … got the macs piped even as the kids grumbled getting out of bed and into the shower; ffound ‘feet’ before 8am, just after I had banished the kids to school!! Strawberry & Kiwi Bavarian Cake with Razzle Dazzle MacaronsCake demoulded, ganached and snazzed up with my macs and I was a happy baker! The ganache wasn’t in my plan, limited as it seemed because of the time crunch, but the daughter begged for chocolate to be included in the master plan. I think the cake would have looked beautiful without the dark chocolate hues, but teens need to be kept happy, so…Strawberry & Kiwi Bavarian Cake with Razzle Dazzle MacaronsThe macarons ran with the basic colours of fruit in the cake, pink for strawberries and green for kiwi. I was lucky to find feet so early in the morning. For the boost of mac-confidence I have to applaud the uber talented Stella @ BraveTart…and she is brave. She bakes mean {read GORGOEUS!!}  macarons, and did away with many mac myths in a second.Strawberry & Kiwi Bavarian Cake with Razzle Dazzle Macarons; Vanilla Bavarian Mousse with Strawberries & BasilReading her post made me feel ultra confident, and a day old egg white out of the fridge did yield the frills or feet! I also dumped the granulated sugar in with the whites and whipped them altogether, but this time wasn’t nervous. Bravery is a strong emotion, and I was rewarded in under 10 minutes …pretty little mini macs.Strawberry & Kiwi Bavarian Cake with Razzle Dazzle MacaronsThe sponge is a basic one, a 3 egg recipe that lives in my head… 3 eggs + 1/2 cup sugar + 1/2 cup flour. Minimal ingredients {with the seed of 1/2 a vanilla bean} and minimal fuss that results in a light airy sponge. This is my to-go recipe for a Swiss roll too!Strawberry & Kiwi Bavarian Cake with Razzle Dazzle Macarons; Vanilla Bavarian Mousse with Strawberries & BasilI did try to rustle up some shimmer and glimmer to jazz the macarons to meet the razzle dazzle theme, but the shimmer is rather muted! Well the thoughts {and my morning} dazzled in any case. The macarons were sandwiched with some dark chocolate ganache reserved from the frosting.Vanilla Bavarian Mousse with Strawberries & BasilBavarian is fast becoming my choice of filling in cakes, one that finds its roots in a crème anglaise of sorts, as we still moan the lack of local whipping cream in India. The mousse compliments fresh fruit beautifully, and is delicately flavoured with vanilla bean. It was a little less firm in the filling as I used kiwi too {I think the high citric content in kiwi interferes with the setting of gelatin}. It did set though, but just. Next time I might stick to just strawberries to get a firmer mousse … like the one below!Vanilla Bavarian Mousse with Strawberries & BasilThe weather that whole day {week actually} was cold and rainy, hence the cake pictures aren’t bright and happy. I had some mousse left over as the cake was taller than my desert ring, so I set some in glasses. I absolutely love the idea of doing individual portions like these that can be made ahead, and dressed up with seasonal fruit, as in this case strawberries perked up with some fresh basil!Vanilla Bavarian Mousse with Strawberries & BasilThese were GOOD, oh so good! The Bavarian set perfectly, the little vanilla bean specks flavouring it beautifully. I topped the goblets with a strawberry puree, like the one layered in these White & Dark Chocolate Desserts with Strawberries. To add colour and flavour, I snipped in some fresh basil which I am fortunate to have these days. I left these in the fridge for a couple of hours again, and the strawberry, lime and basil flavours matured nicely!Vanilla Bavarian Mousse with Strawberries & BasilThe play of textures and the visual appeal was great! Dolled up with a macaron and I have never heard the fridge door opening SO MANY times! The kids were constantly in and out of the kitchen to look at it longingly. The minute dinner was done, it was a race to the fridge again. Door opened again! “Now?”

Do you want to join us making MACARONS?

If you do, you are most welcome to join us  for this challenge, or the next. You can find all the information at our dedicated macaron blog MacTweets. We generally do the round-up by the end of every month, following which a new challenge is posted!

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking| Lebkuchen & Garam Masala Macarons … and the failings of my sourdough experiment! Blame Scrooge!!

“External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty.”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Lebkuchen and Garam Masala MacaronsScrooge, my sourdough starter let me down. He’s been sitting on my counter for the past few days, being diligently fed, bubbling a bit now and then, showing signs of life. Everyone seems so hungry during the holidays, but Scrooge was the hungriest … after Coco of course. But the sourdough for Daring Bakers wasn’t meant to be. What did ‘happen‘ however were these Lebkuchen and Garam Masala Macarons with a salted butter caramel buttercream!Coco on ChristmasSourdough trouble! I got up that morning and everything seemed to go wrong. Decided to make half a recipe, and weighed out double Scrooge in error. PLOP … he fell in and almost instantly I tried to fish him out. ACK…don’t even bother if you ever make that mistake. It was the day after Christmas, the coldest in the past 10 years. No way was Scrooge going to lend some warmth to my dough to rise. He just clenched his fists and stayed put! 2 hours later, minimum rise … Sourdough starter, Scrooge It rose marginally after beign somewhat shaped; then we ran into yet another power cut for the rest of the day. By the time the electricity was back, the oven preheated, and I bunged the dough into the oven, I was distracted. There was so much more to do. I cranked the oven to the highest setting … and forgot all about the bread! Coco on ChristmasSigh!! The tops burnt, spewing out black fumes! {No pictures…sorry!} A kitchen filled with smoke was enough to ring the deathknell on my bread! So I am back to the drawing board again, feeding the little bit of miserly Scrooge who sulks on the counter. Must try the drama again, maybe on a warmer day. Lebkuchen and Garam Masala Macarons In the meantime, I am back with some feet that ran faster than Scrooge, that gave me more luck on the not so cheery day! Yes, it gladdened my heart to find success by way of Mactweets, our call this month to let the seasons and her holidays inspire you. We’ve had some stunning macarons join our ranks these past few weeks.Lebkuchen and Garam Masala Macarons I jumped in late and present my humble mac-offeringLebkuchen Macarons & Garam Masala Macarons with Salted Caramel Buttercream. I had piped out others, colours, flavours … but alas, the power tripped again, so I am glad to have a few.Lebkuchen and Garam Masala Macarons Lebkuchen and Garam Masala Macarons Jamie and I tempted you to Think COLOR: I did {though sadly my pinks and blues didn’t make it}; Think FLAVOR: I did … Lebkuchen and garam masala and salted butter caramel from Jamies recipe that I so love! Think HOLIDAY: Impossible not to. Kids at home 24 X 7, hungry and full of beans, pooch so excited to have kids at home so even she is more full of beans than ever before … always something happening!Lebkuchen and Garam Masala Macarons Lebkuchen and Garam Masala Macarons

Do you want to join us making MACARONS?

If you do, you are most welcome to join us  for this challenge, or the next. You can find all the information at our dedicated macaron blog MacTweets. We generally post the round-up by the end of every month, following which a new challenge is posted!

These holiday cookies are on the way to Suma’s Cakes And More Cookie Fest
Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


Baking| Chocolate & Strawberry Cream Cake … Pinktober

“Almost all words do have color and nothing is more pleasant than to utter a pink word and see someone’s eyes light up and know it is a pink word for him or her too”
Gladys Taber

Chocolate & Strawberry Cream Cake This ones going to be a short post. Its the PINK time of the year and even if I wanted to, I couldn’t shrug Mr PABs pink birthday cake off my shoulders. The dieting diva with all her charm, asked sweetly, ” Is ‘it‘ going to be PINK again!”. I love how well the kids grasp things that are important, so we had a fast track Chocolate & Strawberry Cream Cake this year!

Pink ribbon - breast cancer awarenessThe pink ribbon is an internationally recognized symbol of hope and awareness in the fight against breast cancer

Chocolate & Strawberry Cream CakeLife has been a race against time and I had thoughts of barely throwing together a cake for Mr Man, PINK beginning to look pretty elusive. But the PINK Plum Fro Yo post had a couple of readers connect with me over the past few years, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear them ask about a PINK cake for Mr PAB… guess the pressure was on!
Chocolate & Strawberry Cream Cake Dive into the freezer and it was back to simmering strawberries and balsamic vinegar in brown sugar like Speedy Gonsalez. Gosh! Why did October get here so fast, and why did his birthday have to be at the very beginning? Sigh….Chocolate & Strawberry Cream CakeIn the midst of this, Jamie and I discussed Octobers theme for MacTweets and we both voted for PINK there too. I was really ambitious…really! No aged whites, a new recipe and lack of time is obviously a recipe for disaster. Ambitious me also piped pink mac ribbons! Needless to say the feet speedily failed me. I used a meringue/macaron ribbon to top my cake. A dusting of sugar hid its failings, yet added to the PINK!

Do you want to join us making MACARONS?

If you do, you are most welcome to join us. You can find all the information at our dedicated macaron blog MacTweets. We generally post the round-up by the end of every month, following which a new challenge is posted!

Chocolate & Strawberry Cream Cake Here we go … my strawberry and chocolate cake for Pinktober since the teen insisted on chocolate. Before I get to the recipe I have to tell you that she decided to bake some cupcakes for her Dad all by herself {that DOES NOT include kitchen clearing and cleaning services}, and she set to work at the same time I was trying to layer the cake. I could have wept, but was VERY brave and soldiered on!Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream FrostingThe teen made pretty cupcakes {from my blog here} and declared they were better looking and tasting than any I had ever made! Of course they were… and then she went on to dress them up with butter-cream, sprinkles, oreos … ! She really did well on her first independent bake and frosting!

Chocolate & Strawberry Cream Cake

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Bake Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 15-18

Chocolate & Strawberry Cream Cake

A simple, moist, delicious cake that can be made ahead. The oil in the batter keeps the cake moist.



280gm plain flour

50gm cocoa

50gm cornflour

4tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

300gm powdered sugar

10tbsp oil {any neutral oil}

10tbsp water

4tbsp milk

6 eggs, separated

2tbsp kirsch

2tsp pure vanilla extract



300ml low fat cream

200gm strawberries, chopped {I used frozen}

1/4 cup sugar

1tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 vanilla bean, split


Chocolate Ganache

275gm dark chocolate, room temperature

150ml low fat cream, room temperature


  1. Cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line 2 9" spring form tin.
  3. Sift the cornflour + flour + baking powder + salt + icing sugar (yes, it’s correct) into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Beat the egg whites till they stand in soft peaks & keep aside.
  5. Lightly beat the oil, water,yolks and vanilla extract together & stir into the dry ingredients.
  6. Beat until smooth, & stir in the kirsch.
  7. Fold the whites gently into the yolk mixture.
  8. Divide into lined tins & bake for about 45 minutes till well risen & golden brown. Check if it is done with a wooden pick.( Slide a sheet of foil lightly over the top if it begins to brown too fast).
  9. Leave in tin for 10 minutes, & then cool completely on rack.
  10. Once cool, cut into 2 or 3 layers. If it feels a bit dry, brush the layers with a simple sugar syrup while layering.
  11. Sandwich with filling {recipe follows}. Allow to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes, and then frost with the chocolate ganache {recipe follows}. Let it sit out for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  12. Filling:
  13. First prepare filling: Place strawberries, sugar, scraped vanilla bean and balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan, and simmer till it becomes thick and jam-like. Cool completely. {Discard the bean}
  14. Beat cream to medium stiff peaks, and gently fold in cooled strawberry mixture, taking care not to release the volume of the cream.
  15. Chocolate Ganache:
  16. Place the chocolate with 100ml cream in a heatproof bowl and microwave for 30-40 seconds {if the weather is warm as it is here, else try for minute}. You can also simmer it in pan until the chocolate melts. Stir until smooth, add the remaining cream and stir well to combine both into a smooth ganache.
  17. Give the cake one basic thin coating with this ganache, and reserve some for piping decorations. Add the remaining cream and mix until smooth.

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India