** Lemon Cake with a Beautiful Fuchsia Twist **

a while back i baked this gorgeous looking lemon cake and totally forgot to share it with you! but here you go…

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I tried going for a zebra style, but i ended up with a marble cake instead! don’t be fooled, the pink is just coloring, but you know you can always add raspberries to it and you will get the same thing ;) and this cake is absolutely perfect for this weather!

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Ingredients:

- 230 grams (1 cup) butter at room temperature

- 1 cup of white sugar

- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

- 4 eggs room temperature

- zest of one large lemon

- 2 cups of flour

- 1/4 tsp salt

- 2 tsp of baking powder

- 1/4 cup of lemon juice

- 1/4 cup of milk

Preparation:

1- preheat your oven at 180 deg C and butter a 23 cm or 26 cm cake pan. i usually like to spray some oil. set aside

2- in a bowl, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy and pale in color (3 – 5 mins). add the vanilla extract and beat. add each at a time, beating well after each addition. in a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and zest.

3- add the dry ingredients to the egg batter in 3 additions, alternating with the milk and lemon juice in 2 additions. you will then have a smooth batter.

4- take out 1/3 of the batter and add 3 – 4 drops of fuchsia food coloring. in your prepared cake pan, add 1/3 of  the lemon batter, then 1/2 the fuchsia batter, then 1/3 lemon batter, then remaining 1/2 fuchsia batter, then the remaining lemon batter. you can use a knife to move the batter around, if you want.

5- bake for 30 – 40 mins, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. start checking your cakes after 30 mins of being in the oven, sometimes it might be done at that time, and sometimes it needs a little or a lot more. just keep a watch for it, it all depends on how high your oven is.

6- after your cake has cooled down completely, flip onto your serving dish. *note you need to flip it twice to get the top part onto your serving dish

lemon cake

source: joyofbaking.com 

BON APPÉTIT

** China trip July, 2014 **

Absolutely didn’t want to travel during the month of Ramadan, but it was a must to go… business!!!

anyways, it was a good trip… the food, the ppl, the work, THE FOOD, the fruits, you know everything was great, thank God!

What did i get the chance to try? First, i absolutely loved Qatar Airlines first class, the food, the presentation, the hosting and service, was all perfect:

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Ciabatta bread, bean salad, spreadable butter, salad dressing (pomegranate juice and olive oil), and a plate of different Arabic appetizers.. absolutely devoured that!!!!!!

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I so loved those mini bottles of salad dressing!!!!

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main dish: the spinach ravioli!!!!!!

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ending with a mouthwatering Tiramisu!!!!!!! YUMM!!!

Getting to China, I had to have my usual, The dragon fruit!!!!!! I am just so in love with it

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as for snacking, who can resist oreo’s with funfetti filling… i absolutely teared up when my mom took the last one :(

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oh and if there’s a Starbucks, you definitely cannot resist a Mocha Frap:

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As for our last night, we had one hell of a Chinese dinner: we started with some sliced asparagus  and baby bamboo…

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as for the rice noodles, no i didn’t have one small plate, i actually had a whole LOT

 

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also some river veggies? well that’s what they told me it was

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oh and the best part of this dinner, was the sweet purple potato and corn

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Fava beans

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and the yummiest ever, those smileys are french fries and the rings are deep fried calamari with coconut dip and ketchup

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and by the end of my trip, i had a goodbye cup of coffee with digestive wheat cookies that were not that sweet at all but good at the same time

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it was a pretty good trip!!!

 

For all of you fasting out there, i wish you a blessed fast and pleasant yummy iftar!!! i will be posting some of those yummy iftars too!!!! to keep track of my menus, don’t forget to like me on facebook ;)

BON APPÉTIT

 

** easy chocolate cake with chocolate whipped cream **

This time I went for an egg-less version, why? Well, preparing a chiffon after a hectic time at work was too much, so I decided to go for a much simpler recipe; although I couldn’t substitute the amazing chocolate cream.

This is one yummy, moist, chocolaty cake. I know I say this about almost all the recipes I try, but I am being honest. Cross my heart …

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This recipe takes up about 10 mins tops to mix all the ingredients together and about 25-30 mins in a preheated oven of 175 deg C; depending on your oven of course!

Ingredients:

- for the cake:

- 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

- 1 cup white sugar

- 1/4 cup of cocoa powder

- 1 tsp baking powder

- 3/4 tsp baking soda

- 1/4 tsp salt

- 75 grams of melted butter

- 1 cup of warm water

- 1 tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar

- 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

- for the filling:

- 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract

- 1/4 cup of sugar

- 2 tbsp of cocoa powder

- 1 cup of cold heavy whipping cream (not low fat)

 

Preparation: 

1- first preheat your oven at 175 deg C. Spray your cake mold (26 cm) with butter or oil and set aside. You can use a square pan or even a loaf pan.

2- in a bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. in another bowl add the wet ingredients: butter, water, vanilla, and vinegar or lemon juice.

3- add the dry ingredients to the ingredients mixing with a fork, whisk, or electric mixer. just mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.

4- transfer the batter onto your prepared mold, and bake for 25-30 mins or until inserted skewer comes out clean. mine took 25 mins exact.

5- leave out the cake until it completely cools and flip onto your serving dish.

6- to prepare the cream: place your bowl and whisk paddles in the freezer for 15-20 mins before you start. add the cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of cream. mix until blended. add the remaining cream and beat until stiff peaks forms.

7- spread onto the cool cake and place it in your fridge for at least 4 hrs or preferably over night before you serve.

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Resources: Joy of Baking

BON APPÉTIT

 

** boston cream cupcakes **

Just imagine yourself savoring this — vanilla moist cupcakes filled with rich pastry cream topped with excellent melted chocolate.

I can’t seem to forget it

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what i love about my baking addiction, is when i spend my money on baking stuff. i finally got disposable icing bags and genuine stainless steel pippin tips. God it’s so hard to find those in Lebanon and it turns out this guy is actually my neighbor; say good bye to my paycheck ;) but what i love more about baking, is when the people you love most get a chance in sharing what you made, especially when the entire recipe was dedicated to one special person <3

anyhew there’s the recipe, it’s one perfect recipe ;)

Vanilla Cupcakes:

- 1 1/2 cups of flour

- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

- 1/4 tsp salt

- 113 grams of butter at room temperature

- 1 cup white sugar

- 2 large eggs, room temperature

- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

- 1/2 cup milk, room temperature

Pastry Cream 

- 2 large egg yolks

- 3 tbsp white sugar

- 2 tbsp of cornstarch

- 1/8 tsp salt

- 1 cup of full fat milk

- 6 grams of butter room temperature

- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze

- 120 grams of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (i used hershey’s chocolate chips)

- 42 grams of butter

- 1 1/2 tbps of light corn syrup (substitute: honey or maple syrup) this helps the chocolate to keep its shine 

Preparation: 

1- preheat your oven at 180 deg C and butter your muffin mold with butter or vegetable spray oil. we won’t be using paper cups for this recipe.

2- sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside

3- in a bowl, beat the butter until soft. add the sugar and beat fluffy. add one egg at a time and beat well after each addition. add the vanilla extract. add the flour and the milk in 3 additions, starting with the flour and ending with it. scoop the batter in the buttered molds and place in the oven for 15-20 mins or until inserted skewer comes out clean — some of my muffins came out weird and did not rise properly, but that’s not an excuse for not assembling and eating them ;) once they are done, set them aside to cool to room temperature

4-  for the pastry cream, heat the milk until it starts to bubble; keep stirring the milk because it tends to burn fast. in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until you get a whitish color. whisk in the corn flour. once the milk start to bubble, add a bit of the milk to the egg mixture and whisk fast to avoid the eggs from curdling. add the egg mixture to the milk and back to the heat. stir with a whisk until the cream starts to thicken. remove from heat, and transfer to a heat proof bowl. add the butter and the vanilla and mix until the butter melts. set aside and cover with a clean towel.

5- for the chocolate, melt the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. once they have melted properly, place in a bowl and set aside until it thickens a bit, not too much.

Assembling:  once the cupcakes have cooled down, it’s time to assemble them. place the pastry cream in a pipping bag. insert the pastry tip into the cupcake and squeeze in the cream until the cupcakes fill. you can do it from the top and/or bottom. doing it from both sides will assure more and more pastry cream. when the cupcakes crack a bit, u can stop filling them. glaze with some chocolate, about 2 tablespoons so they can fall of the sides. you can eat them right away or keep them at room temperature for later. place leftovers in the fridge and thaw them before eating (about 5-10 mins).

source: Joy of Baking

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BON APPÉTIT

** peanut butter cake **

i love being around my mixer, even it’s loud rotating sound makes me happy! i mean it’s my stand mixer, every passionate baker’s dream. but what i love even more, is peanut butter. ever try grabbing a spoon and just eating from that jar?? i do the same with nutella ;) … i know i know bad PHATIMA!

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my mistake was that i just threw that cake in the fridge, like i do with almost everything i bake.. also BAD ME! it should have stayed warm outside and eaten warm as well, but hey even after it thawed from the fridge that cake was something!!!!

what do you think about the watermark?? left, right, center??? i like it more to the right side, that’s where it should be from now on!

RECIPE:
Cake
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 100 grams butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Frosting
  • 150 grams butter, cut into pieces
  • handful of chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan, or any pan you prefer using.
  2. Make the cake. In a medium saucepan, combine peanut butter, water, and butter over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a medium bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, stir together sugars, flour, salt, and baking soda until combined. Add the peanut butter mixture to it and mix. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and mix just until incorporated. Transfer into the buttered pan and bake for 20-25 mins or until inserted skewer comes out clean. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Make the frosting. In a small saucepan, combine butter, milk, chocolate chips, and peanut butter over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Add vanilla. Stir in confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until the frosting has thickened considerably but is still quite runny. Pour over the warm cake. Best served warm– that’s very important trust me!

Recipe from: piesandplots.net 

BON APPÉTIT

** tagliatelle with homemade tomato sauce **

Here’s a thought? Why don’t you like my Facebook page so you’d be updated with my latest recipes ;)

Last night I prepared this homemade tomato sauce that was super delightful. Easy and quick, it was ready in 15 mins and eaten in about the same time ….

Pasta

Yum right?

Here’s the recipe:

Tagliatelle pasta
Tomato Sauce:
1 small onion diced
2 diced cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 fresh tomato pulps
1 tbsp of tomato paste
1 tsp white vinegar
black pepper + salt to taste
2 tsp of each: oregano and basil
2 tsp of sugar

Preparation: 

1) cook the pasta in boiling water then drain and set aside.

2) in a sauce pan, heat the oil with onion and garlic for about 2 mins. add the tomato pulp and stir. add the tomato paste and bring to boil. lower heat and add spices and sugar. serve over the pasta hot.

BON APPÉTIT

** Healthy Banana Cake **

Like my new Logo???? I mean i totally love it, thnx to my friend Kevin Baykr a graphic designer as well :D check out his portfolio {here} … 

Also, pictures are now watermarked … advanced don’t you think ;)

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Healthy banana cake??? Not a single person who tried this didn’t ask me this surprising question: ARE YOU SURE THAT’S HEALTHY??? 

I mean yea, why would I lie to make you believe such a heavenly dessert is guilt free ;) Just substitute regular white granulated sugar to fructose sugar with 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (organic) and 3 tablespoons of honey. Secret to moistness: of course the bananas… were they ripened? Nope, I bought them straight from the market and into the batter they went.. I mean of course ripen it would have been 100% yummier but it was a hurry bake a cake kind of day! Anyhew, here’s the recipe below:

ingredients:

- 2 large eggs room temp

- 1 cup of fructose sugar

- 3 tablespoons of honey or agave syrup

- 3 tablespoons of coconut oil

- 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

- dash of salt

- 2 cups of flour

- 1 tsp of baking powder

- 1 tsp of baking soda

- 3 large bananas

- 3/4 cups of milk

preparing:

1- preheat your oven at 180 deg C. Spray your cake pan/silicon (26 cm) and add parchment paper. Set aside

2- in a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

3- in another bowl with  your hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar. add the oil and honey and mix well. add the vanilla or seeds of the vanilla pod and mix.  add one banana at a time, mixing well after each addition. i don’t like mushing them, i prefer breaking them down with the mixer.

4- add half the milk and half the flour mix and mix. add the remaining milk and flour. mix only until they are incorporated, don’t over mix.

5- transfer the batter to the pan/silicon and cook for 25-30 mins or until inserted skewer comes out clean.

6- let the cake cool down to room temperature before placing it in the fridge

7- serve!

BON APPÉTIT