How to Work with Fondant

Wish to bake a cake that not only tastes good but looks excellent? Well, fondant is what you’re looking for. This edible icing, used for decorating or sculpting pastries and cakes, can be made at home. But there are certain facts you need to bear in mind while making and using it to create, incredible looking cakes.

  1. The thing with fondant is that it dries out rather quickly. So, if you’re looking to store it for some time, but not too long, you can keep it in a re-sealable plastic bag, after packing it in a plastic wrap.
  2. If it’s for a reasonably longer period of time, say for more than a month that you want store you fondant, roll it into a ball, brush its surface with a coating of hydrogenated vegetable oil (vegetable shortening). Then, pack it in a plastic wrap and store it in an air-tight container. Keep the container outside and not in a refrigerator.
  3. At times, fondant can get too sticky or too soft to roll in a plastic wrap. The solution to this tricky problem is to knead into the fondant, a little more powdered sugar.
  4. Want to roll out a fondant that has a smooth surface and allows for an easy release? Then, get yourself a silicone mat.
  5. While rolling out fondant, it’s best to avoid wearing clothes which are prone to shedding fibres. It might make a mess of your fondant if you have to pick the fibres off its surface.
  6. Smoothen your cake with a buttercream frosting to ensure an even surface before using the fondant.


How to Slice a Cake

Baking cake is an art. So is cutting one. You need to be tactful and deft to serve evenly sized slices. You can only do justice to a cake when you can cut it without any leaving any crumbs behind.  So here are a few simple tips you can follow to perfectly piece your cake.

First things first

Before actually cutting a cake,you need to consider how many slices you’ll need.

Drawing outlines

Once you’ve decided the number, take the knife and gently draw lines on the cake to mark out each slice.  When you cut the cake along these lines, you’ll get slices of even proportions.

Slicing a fluffy cake

A fluffy cake is best sliced with a serrated knife. And, you need an immense amount of tenderness while slicing it.

Tackling a cheese cake

To slice a cheese cake, you need to be extremely cautious. Dip the knife in hot water and wipe it dry before cutting every slice.  This needs to be done to prevent cheese from sticking to the knife and spoiling the cake altogether.

Cutting a layer cake

A thin and long bladed knife is best for slicing a layer cake. A gentle sawing motion will ensure that you get perfect slices.

The simplest one

To cut square or rectangular cake, use a thin bladed knife and make parallel slices along the width of the cake. Now divide the cake longitudinally into two halves by cutting through its length, to get pieces of even proportions.

How to Make Pure Vanilla Extract

Is baking cake at home, a frequent affair? Then it doesn’t harm to have a well-stocked kitchen, with the right ingredients at your disposal, every time you wish to indulge in a cake baking experience.

Among the essentials that you need to hoard, be sure that you don’t miss out on a bottle of pure vanilla extract. While you could easily purchase the same from your local market, making it at home will ensure that you get a pure extract, devoid of artificial flavours and harmful chemicals.

A pure vanilla extract is made from whole vanilla beans,infused in more than 35% alcohol. And it goes without saying that, better the quality of the beans, more superior will be the extract.

Here’s how to go about it-

  • Slice the vanilla beans longitudinally and store them in a glass bottle.
  • Now fill the bottle with alcohol till the sliced beans are totally submerged in it. As for the choice of alcohol, Vodka is usually preferred for its neutral taste but if you are in a mood to experiment, you can use rum or brandy to derive flavoured extracts.
  • That’s pretty much it. Keep the bottle away from sunlight in a cool, dark place. But you can only enjoy the fruits of your labour after 2 months. Allow the beans to infuse in alcohol till then and return to the bottle, twice a week, to give it a good shake.

After 8 weeks, voila! Your very own home made vanilla extract is ready.

How to Make Chocolate Sauce

For those who believe in stocking their kitchen with an assortment of things that comes handy while cooking, a bottle of chocolate sauce will for certain have its place on one of their kitchen racks.  You can for sure, buy a bottle of the same from the market. But it is easy to make and moreover, you cannot deny that homemade stuff usually outscore their purchased-from-market counterparts.

Follow the 4 simple steps to make chocolate sauce at home-

Step 1

In a large saucepan pour cocoa powder and milk together.

Step 2

Heat and whisk thoroughly on medium flame to dissolve the cocoa.

Step 3

Next, add sugar to the mixture and stir to dissolve it completely. No sugar grains should remain.

Step 4

Boil for 3 mins and then remove the saucepan from the flame. Allow the sauce to cool down. Then, pour it into a bottle or a jug and store it in the refrigerator.

How to Make Chocolate Brownies

Are you in the mood to bake something at home? Why not try your hands at making brownies? Follow the 5 simple steps and you’ll have delicious homemade brownies to go with your cup of coffee.

  1. Chop chocolate bars and put the slices in a saucepan. Add butter and stir over low heat until both the ingredients melt into a smooth mixture.
  2. Now remove the saucepan from the flame and allow the mixture to cool. Add sugar to it and continuously stir to mix it completely.
  3. Add eggs to the chocolate mixture, one at a time. Beat them thoroughly and stir in vanilla essence.
  4. Make a flour and baking soda mixture in a different bowl. Once done, combine it with the chocolate mixture and stir till all the ingredients form a batter.
  5. Now grease your baking pan or line with a parchment foil. Evenly spread the batter in the pan. Usually brownies are baked at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 mins.  Post baking, allow it to cool completely before slicing out portions.

How to Decorate a Cake

Planning to bake a cake at home? Can’t figure out how to give it the perfect look?

Here are some easy decorating ideas to help you get cracking with it!

  1. Marzipan

This almond infused fondant with its nutty crunch is a delightful option. It’s delicious to say the least and is extremely easy to work with.

  1. Fresh whipped Cream

Using fresh whipped cream to decorate your cake is bound to give it a classic touch. You can pipe it in swirls or spread it evenly across your cake and top it up with chocolates or fruits.

  1. Spreads

Time crunch?  Don’t worry. Spreads like nutella or marmalade can help you save the day. Just ladle the top your cake with a spread and garnish it with nuts, choco chips, sliced fruit or anything that you find handy.

  1. Butter Cream/Frosting

A concoction of all things nice: milk, butter, icing sugar and flavoured extracts. That’s butter cream for you.  To turn butter cream into a frosting, simply replace butter with cream cheese. You can pipe swirls of these or put an even spread on the top of your cake to give it, a heart warming touch.

  1. Royal Icing 

If elegance is what you are looking for in your cake, then royal icing is the thing for you.  It’s perfect for decorating a Christmas cake as it lends an ethereal snowy white look to it.

  1. Coconut Shreds

As a healthy alternative to icing sugar, dry shredded coconut can be used to decorate a cake. A layer of butter cream on top provides the perfect base for the shreds.

  1. Chocolate

One way to ensure that your cake is a hit is to use chocolate.  You can use it in any way that appeals to you. Melt it, mix it with cream, use coco powder as a light dusting- the possibilities are practically endless.

  1. Fondant

Fondant shapes make cakes visually delightful.  You can have multiple shapes dotting the top layer or just a single attractive centrepiece on the top of your cake.

  1. Marshmallows

Little ones love them. Topping up their birthday cakes with marshmallows is a great way to give them a wonderful treat on this special occasion.

How to Blanch Almonds

Need blanched almonds to roll out a perfect of marzipan for your cake? Learn how to do it in 6 easy steps

  1. Boil water in a container.
  2. Put the raw almonds into the boiling water. Leave them in it for not more than 60 seconds.
  3. At the end 60 seconds, use a strainer to drain the water and rinse the almonds with cold water.
  4. Use a paper napkin to blot the wet almonds. By now, the almond skin will have started shrivelling.
  5. Now all you need to do is gently squeeze the almonds with your fingers to loosen their skin.
  6. After you’ve removed their skin, allow the almonds to dry.

Your blanched almonds are now ready for use!

Creams used in Baking Cakes

While baking a cake, it is important to consider which cream you’d use, based on white kind of a cake you are looking for. Creams vary in fat content and this needs to be factored in before you actually embark on baking your cake. Here are the three most commonly used creams for cake baking.

Crème Fraîche

It has a rich velvety texture with a slightly tangy taste and is made by mixing sour and fresh cream with a little amount of butter milk. Its low viscosity and high fat content, ranging in between 30- 35 %, makes it ideal for using in desserts.

Double Cream

It has extremely high butterfat content, amounting to no less than 48%. Its rich and creamy texture makes cakes baked with it, a real treat. If over whipped, this cream might become too thick for use. So, tablespoons of milk are often added to the cream before whipping it.

Whipping/Whipped Cream

With a minimum fat content of 30 %, this cream is used extensively as cake topping and filling.   It is thinner than double cream and is often flavoured with vanilla. Chantilly Cream is the name given to vanilla flavoured whipped cream.

5 Things to Remember About Whipped Cream

Yummylicious is the word for the dessert with dollops of whipped cream on it. But it can get rather tricky when it comes to whipping up, using and storing whipped cream. Here are some facts that should know about this creamy delight.

Nothing else will do

Looking for a creamy topping for your dessert? Whipping cream is ideal because of its high fat content (30% to 35%).

The key to a long lasting whipped cream

You wouldn’t want your fresh whipped cream to sour before you can actually get to use it. The only way to ensure that it enjoys a longer life is to make it by using a food processor.

Holding the whipped cream together

If you’re preparing whipped cream well in advance, then you’d want it hold itself together when you actually use it for your dessert.  So, to keep your whipped cream from deflating, use it in combination with Crème fraîche, which has a high fat content.

Undoing an over-whipped cream

Think you’ve over whipped your cream? Don’t worry. To undo it, whisk in a few extra tablespoons of cream. The only time this quick fix won’t work is when over whipping will turn the cream to butter.

Save it for another day

Left over whipped cream at home? Don’t throw it away. Pour spoonfuls of the cream onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze and then store the dollops in freezer bag within the refrigerator.

5 Easy Cupcake Decorating Ideas

Serving cupcakes at the party? Here are 5 easy decorating tips that’ll give them a special touch.

Chocolate or Candy 

Inserting bits of chocolate or crushed candy on the cupcake which has a buttercream topping, makes it all the more savoury. You can also experiment by adding chocolate gems to your cupcakes to give it a colourful touch.

Flags or Printed Tags

If you are baking cupcakes for a special occasion, you can pep them up with flags. Take little hand-made or printed flags/ tags which have the special occasion mentioned on them and stick them to toothpicks. Then, insert the toothpicks in the cupcakes.

Fresh Fruit

If your cupcakes have piped vanilla frosting on their top, you can add a dash of colour to them by adding slices of fresh fruits, arranged in different patterns on top of the frosting.

Chocolate Sauce

For cupcakes without butter cream or frosting on them, drizzle chocolate sauce on the top in criss-cross patterns to jazz them up.


To give your cupcakes a chocolatey twist, pipe swirls of ganache on them and a light shower of chocolate sprinkles.

Night In

When in doubt, party at home!

Partying at home makes for a perfect time spent with the kids. The best part? They are an absolute cinch to host!

Throw a theme party, we say… Make it a formal evening and ask your child to dress up or suit up for it. How does the idea of welcome drinks sound? Apple juice, coconut milk, chocolate milk, fruit juice – go mad cooking up the options you have at your dispense.

Bring out the Monopoly board and have an entire game session with the little one. Ludo also makes the cut, here… Give your party a touch of James Bond & turn the game into a battle of the brains – only remember the ‘light & fun friendly spirit’. Prize – the last slice of Chocolate Swiss Roll… May the best one win!

Your theme track for the night should include the Supermario theme, Lion King Music and anything else that you can think of which matches the young & hearty spirit of the night. Finish off with your child’s favorite meal.

Make this a night to remember – and, also something that you should do often!

Do you have a party idea that you wish to share with us? Write away, in the comments below.

Match Fixing

We are about to embark on a cute & utterly delightful journey with Match Fixing! Hear us out…

Once in a while, dress up and while you’re at it, match the outfit with your kid. There’s an idea… You have a work dress code, a party dress code – why not have a family dress code? There’s something very cool about it – like a way to bond with your child through the medium of clothes. It’s like having a moment & owning it – only, this is you & your child enjoying the moment together.

Start by matching your T-shirt! Then, venture into jumpsuits, florals, stripes, playful patterns, sportswear, etc. That leopard print you wish to wear but you can’t – match it with your child. Warning – you will not be able to unsee the cuteness overdose… Get trendy, get passionate, get creative!

If an outifit seems too much, match the accessories – shoes, belts, bags, hats – anything on the top of your mind. However, make sure it’s cool enough for your kid. Whether you wish to be the glamorous girls, fringy fashionistas or denim dynamoes – we say, go for it!

After you’re done styling yourselves, head out for a fun day & make the most of it grabbing eyeballs from everyone, around…


Look Who Can Cook Too!

Be the artful parent & hire a sidekick for your kitchen adventures, who will help you cook up tasty dishes in no time – your kid!

While cooking may seem like an offbeat idea to involve your kids in, trust us, it is a jonty brilliant idea to spend time with them. Teach your younglings to cook and they will have picked up skills, which they will put to good use throughout their lives. Make sure they are having loads of fun while learning.

Start with easy recipes – or you might end up scaring them away with complicated dishes. If your kid is too young to handle mixing & grinding, get them to wash ingredients, push the buttons of the microwave or simply hand you utensils. You could also ask them to add toppings or plate things. Let the older kids brainstorm about new ingredients to add to a classic.

If things get messy, don’t fret or stress about it. Gooey fun is probably the best kind of fun you can have with your kids. Use this opportunity to teach them the importance of cleanliness by helping you clean afterwards.

Oh, and you must absolutely resist your urge to fix the plate if it looks nothing like what it is suppose to! If the sandwich is about to topple, call it the ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’ and have a laugh. It is important that you show them how proud you are of their skills. This will make them more confident and probably, a great sidekick.

What are you waiting for? Get those aprons out, now!

Crunchy Brunchy Lunch Surprise

Compared to yours, your kid’s WON’T EAT LIST will probably be longer. Tricky & troublesome as your kid might be, it is actually quite easy to win their hearts. Simply surprise them!

Kids, mostly expect you to be the stringent mum. It’s time to raid some tricks from the funville and make your kid’s day. Tomorrow at lunch, throw the little one a ‘Crunchy Brunchy Lunch Surprise’.

Make  a Double Decker Sandwich.  Yes, because a single level sandwich is just too bleh… Use veggies – the leafy ones too to fill up the sandwich. Luxuriously, add mayonnaise or cheese – whichever is your kids’ favorite. Don’t worry, you can go easy next time on.

Now, for the crunchy surprise! Add a layer of chips or wafers between the two levels of sandwich.

When your child takes his/her first bite,the gates of flavours with the occasional burst of crunch open up. Never mind the mess they make, for you know they had a good time eating it. To add a dash of fun, why not be a kid yourself and eat the sandwich – minus your table manners.

Good luck! Have fun!

Breakfast for Dinner

We don’t know why it took us this long to think of it. However, praise the Lord that we did!

Breakfast for Dinner – fascinating, as it sounds, it is an a-m-a-z-i-n-g idea! Also, this will help broadcast your creative side to that youngling of yours.

How about Pancakes? Pancakes have been confined to the breakfast table for way too long. This anomaly ENDS NOW! You can never go wrong with the fluffy pancake – it is easy to whip, fast to cook & yummilicious to eat.

Add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder to a fluffy mixture of beaten egg & milk. Pour a small amount of this batter into the pan & spread out with a spoon. When bubbles on the surface appear to break, turn it over to cook the other side. Voila, your pancakes are ready to serve. Please, please, please go all out on the syrup!

You know what would make this even more fun? Turn this into a ‘Build Your Own Pancake Turn-Table’. Lay out the toppings such as chocolate chips, strawberrys, cherry tomatoes, spinach, fruits, whipped cream and ask your kids to have fun stacking the pancakes and creating their own favorite.

Something tells us, this will be a night you won’t soon forget!