Monday, December 31, 2012

Super Easy 5 Minute Eggless Microwave Oreo Biscuit Cake

[Video update on 22/02/2016


Hungry for a cake, but lazy to make an elaborate one? Here's a quick and easy recipe for a semi-homemade cake, so to speak.

Ingredients :
1 large packet and 1 small packet of oreo biscuits (19 pairs. 38 biscuits in total)
1 cup milk (240 ml)
¾ tsp baking powder OR ¾ tsp Eno
3 tbsp sugar

Crush the biscuits roughly.  [Do not remove the cream]. Transfer to a blender. Add the other ingredients and blend into a smooth paste.
Grease a microwave safe dish liberally with butter, oil or ghee. [You can also line the base with parchment paper/ butter paper to get a clean top while inverting. Please use good quality parchment paper. I first greased the bottom and sides and placed the parchment paper like so:


Transfer the cake batter into the dish. Microwave for 5 minutes [in regular microwave mode]. You will see some moist spots on the top and sides. That's fine.
Do not touch the cake for atleast another 15 minutes, you want to let it cook with the heat trapped inside.

[If you wish to invert the cake, let it cool for 30 minutes. Check this post for more tips. If you have used parchment paper to line the base, you can invert it in lesser time. ]

You can top the cake with sugar powder. Just take some powdered sugar in a strainer and splash it all over the cake.

Perfect for a last minute (oops last 5 minute) snack! Happy New Year!

Update : Made this with Oreo orange creme biscuits.  Loved the subtle orange flavour. This time, I used baking powder instead of eno. And the lines on top - that's Nutella!

Thanks to the internet for letting me know you can make cakes with biscuits! I experimented with my favourite Oreo cookies and now I have a quick cake recipe.

A couple more eggless microwave cake recipes -
Eggless Microwave Chocolate Cake
Eggless Microwave Coffee Cake

Monday, December 24, 2012

My Baby Turns Four!! Celebrating with Banana Cupcakes Iced with Delicious Flour Frosting

It's my son's b'day again and the time to bake a cake for him! However, this time I made something different - I made several cupcakes and brought them together to wish my son a Happy Birthday! The cupcakes are made of banana - click here for the step-by-step pictures - and the frosting is made with flour! Don't be alarmed when I say flour because the icing comes out so airy and delicious, you want to lick the spoon as you ice the cupcakes. Go ahead, try it for yourself! Here's the link for the flour frosting.

The chocolate frosting I used for the letters is store bought - Pillsburry Creamy Chocolate Icing - and I also swirled some frosting on some cupcakes for a chocolaty taste. If you want different frosting colours you can mix some food colour (the Wilton fan that I am, I used Wilton gel colours) with the flour frosting till you get the hue you desire.

Thankfully, my son had no complaints about the simplicity of the cake which was devoid of any cartoon characters or action figures. Thanks for that Vineet!! Happy B'day!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fondant Pumpkins made with Homemade Marshmallow Fondant

A huge pile of giant pumpkins is what comes to my mind when I think of Halloween. So how about some really cute mini-pumpkins made with homemade marshmallow fondant. Sounds yummy, yeah?  Luckily I found a bag of white and pink marshmallows in Nilgiris in Mangalore. I used only the white ones and nibbled on the pink ones while I made these.

Check my post on Homemade Marshamallow Fondant to get step by step pictures on how to make fondant.
I used only 1 cup marshmallows with 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp water. You can easily increase or decrease the quantities depending on how many pumpkins you want to make.
[You can, of course, use store-bought fondant].

Once you make the fondant, just eyeball, or roughy divide it into the number of pumpkins and their size, setting aside a little bit of fondant for the stems and leaves. Colour the fondant orange, green and brown accordingly. [You can even use a piece of chocolate instead of brown fondant for the stem.] I used Wilton's Icing Colors (concentrated gel).
To colour, just make streaks with the colouring with a toothpick and knead really well to spread the colour evenly (Check this post). Repeat till you get the shade you desire.

Take a small portion of the orange fondant. Roll it into a ball. Using a toothpick poke a hole in the centre at the top, and make verticals markings on the side (you can even use a butter knife).There, you have a cute pumpkin. Make small stems with the brown fondant. For the green creeper, just curl green fondant around a toothpick like you see in the picture. Remember, fondant dries easily and won't be very malleable once it dries. You may have to knead it again to mould it into the desired shape.  To fix the stem and leaves to the pumpkin, use a dab of water.

You can serve these pumpkins as is or station them on a yummy cupcake. Now how is that for a super-cute Halloween treat!!

Here are a couple more. Go on, rock your halloween!
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Spiderweb Muffins

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Roasted Garlic Mushroom Soup / Cream of Mushroom Soup

It's raining here tonight (yes, in October) and what better companion than a bowl of hot soup to keep you warm! The only thing missing is my husband's company since he is miles away, but that's not going to stop me from relishing this creamy, steamy, earthy, delicious soup!

[Video Update on 26/07/2016


12 to 15 garlic cloves, chopped
200g mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp maida (all purpose flour)
1 cup milk
3 cups water
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground pepper (or pepper powder)
Salt to taste


In a pan, heat butter. Roast garlic for a couple of minutes. Add mushrooms and roast for a few minutes. Remove about 2 tbsp of this mixture and keep aside in a bowl (for garnishing).
Add maida to the remaining roasted garlic and mushrooms and roast for a few minutes.
Transfer to a blender and blend with 1/2 cup milk (add milk a little at a time). Add 1/2 cup water and blend again.
Transfer to a vessel. Add another 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Sprinkle ground pepper. (If you are using fine pepper powder, mix with a little water before adding). Add salt to taste and add the roasted garlic-mushroom kept aside for garnishing. Cook for a couple of minutes. Watch the rain, sip the soup and stay warm!

Note : You can adjust the quantity of milk and water depending on how thick or thin you want your soup. This recipe serves 2 and you can easily increase the measures. Also, I prefer to grind whole pepper and add the fine granules which give a better peppery flavour, as compared to store-bought pepper powder.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gudgud Alambe Songa / Mushrooms in Tangy-Spicy sauce

Rainy season has a beauty of it's own. Rains have a certain magic to them which makes you want to watch them and just watch them, while you listen to their sound of music. One of my favourite things about rain, apart from the refreshing smell of the soil, is these delectable mushrooms that take shape in the beginning of rainy season. These are called thunder mushrooms or gud gud alambe, are round in shape, and need to be peeled individually - a tedious task that is done by almost everyone in the family together at the dining table, amidst jokes and laughter. 

My favourite dish made with these mushrooms is Alambe Songa - a spicy dish (and I love it extra-spicy), slightly sour and very delicious. Typically, potatoes are also added, but I prefer it without them, as I love the unique taste and  flavour these alambes offer - something we relish only a few weeks in an entire year. So let's keep the potatoes at bay and enjoy a field day with the taste of thunder!

3 cups peeled round mushrooms
3 cups finely chopped onions
3 to 4 tsp red chilly powder (adjust according to your spice level)
1 tamarind lump (gooseberry sized)
Salt to taste

Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup hot water and keep aside.
In a deep-bottomed pan, heat 3 to 4 tbsp oil (or more). Sauté onions for 8 to 10 minutes till they turn brownish. Add chilli powder and roast on medium low heat for 5 to 6 minutes. 
Squeeze out all the water from the tamarind, add the water to the onions and roast well, till the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile add 1/2 cup water to the mushrooms and bring to a boil. Add boiled mushrooms along with water to the pan. Add salt to taste, cover and cook for a few minutes.

I like it best with boiled rice (ukde sheeth) or bread. And a glass of water to help me out!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Photography - Experimenting with Aperture in Manual Mode

I'm an absolute novice at taking pictures in manual mode, so I wasn't even thinking of writing a post on it. I just started using this mode less than a week back and am still trying to understand all the nuances involved. However, when I came across this post by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen, a fellow Goan, an ardent blogger and a fervent  photographer, I decided to take one step ahead and take part in her exercise.

So here's the picture. The camera I used is a Canon EOS Rebel T3i. I don't have a 50mm f/1.8 lens (hint hint to my hubby), so I stuck to my 18-55mm kit lens and as suggested by Aparna, set the focal length to 24mm. I set the ISO to 100, changed the aperture to f/4.0 (unfortunately it doesn't go any higher in my lens) and experimented a bit with the shutter speed. Here's one where the shutter speed is 1/15s.

If whatever I said went right above your head, then let me try to explain whatever little I've understood. Just look closely at the photograph. The orange and lemons look sharper while the rest of the items look a little blurred.

You may have seen some amazing food photos in food blogs or restaurant menus where a plate of succulent kebabs, a neatly cut piece of chocolate cake or a bowl of luscious ice-cream look so tantalizing against a wonderfully blurry background. And you may have wondered how it is possible to make one aspect shine so much, while toning down the backdrop. This is where aperture plays a major role.

Aperture is basically the opening in your lens through which light comes in. The bigger the opening, the more the light coming in. The smaller the opening, less light comes in.

Aperture is measured in F-stop numbers. Example  f/2.0, f/5.6, f/22 etc.  The smaller the F-stop number, the larger the aperture. The bigger the F-stop number, the smaller the aperture. I know, it's counter-intuitive (because it's a fraction) but you will get the hang of it very soon.
Once again - smaller the F-stop number, more light comes in. Larger the F-stop number, less light comes in.
Example - f/4.0 has MORE light coming in than f/22.
All this when you thought you were done with school and exams. Sigh..

So why not always shoot with a wider aperture? More light gives better pictures, eh?
This is where DOF comes in. DOF (Depth of field) is the area in your photo that you want sharp or blurred. Remember the gorgeous photos with the blurry background I was talking about? [Something I need to really work on, now that I'm actually talking about it]. Those pictures have a shallow DOF. What that means is, the main subject (read yummilicous food) is sharp and in-focus, while the background and all the pretty decorations are blurred. Same goes to portrait pictures where a child or a bunch of people are the "stars" who stand out against a blurry backdrop.
Compare this to a beautiful scenery. You want all the elements - the trees, the clouds, the mountains, the lake and whatever else you have in there, to be given equal importance. Which means, the depth of field should be greater because everyone's the star in there and all elements should be clearly in focus.

So what is the connection between aperture and DOF? Aperture decides the DOF. Or rather, depending on what DOF you want your picture to have, you set the aperture accordingly.
A wider aperture (bigger opening, more light, smaller F-stop number ) focuses on the main subject which results in a shallow DOF. A smaller aperture (less light) gives a greater DOF. No, I'm not going any deeper into that, because I don't want to pull my hair out. Just remember that a smaller F-stop number (say f/2.0) gives a shallow DOF (more blurry background) compared to a larger F-stop number (say f11).

Here are two pictures for comparison. [My lens doesn't have a lower F-stop number, so this is just about what I could manage in terms of blurry background]. The picture on the left has a bigger aperture (f/4.0), hence a shallower depth of field. The oranges and lemons look sharp, while the coffee mugs and rest of the cast look blurred. The picture on the right has a smaller aperture(f/10), hence a wider depth of field. The mugs et al, look clearer.

Larger aperture (smaller F-stop number) = shallower DOF (more background blur).

One more term to remember when changing the aperture is "shutter speed"- the duration taken for the shutter to open and close. When the aperture is bigger, more light comes through the lens, hence the shutter speed should be faster, otherwise the picture will be overexposed. Likewise, when the aperture is smaller, less light comes through, so the shutter speed should be slower in order for the required light to come in.

Take a deep breath. It's not as confusing as it looks. Just remember that a smaller F-stop number should have a faster shutter speed.

In the above pictures for example, for the wider aperture (f/4.0), I set the shutter speed to 1/15s (0.066 seconds). For the smaller aperture (f/10) I set the speed to 0"3 s ( 0.3s).

Here's another example. The first picture was taken with an aperture of f/4.0 and shutter speed of 1/250s. The second picture was taken with an aperture of  f/14 and a shutter speed of 1/5s.

See the difference?

The first picture (wider aperture) has a shallow depth of field (more background blur).
Since the aperture was wider than that of the second picture, it was taken at a much faster shutter speed. [ I did not use a tripod for any of these pictures, so there may be some differences in the position.]

Keep varying and experimenting with the shutter speed till you get the picture you envision. Ofcourse, the light source and time of day can affect the quality of the picture. So also could ISO which determines the sensitivity of the camera's sensor to light. I don't want to go deeper into that,  because it will leave me more confused than you, so let's stick to whatever I just explained. All I can say is if your picture appears too dark, increase ISO and if too bright, decrease it (or just set ISO to Auto if you are not sure what the heck is happening). If ISO is way too high then the picture will be grainy ("noisy" in camera jargon).

So that's about how much I know. I'm all set to explore the "Av" (aperture priority) and "Tv" (shutter priority) modes next. As of now, I'm sung as a bug in a rug with the "Auto" mode, but since I've stretched myself a little bit to understand what some terms means, I'm hoping I will soon be comfortable clicking pics of my dishes in manual (or Av) mode.

Until then, Happy Clicking!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Prawn Recheado / Rechard

So what did I do with the rechado paste I posted about earlier? Made some delicious, succulent Prawn Rechado. Very easy to make. First of all make the rechado paste. Marinate the prawns with it and stir fry. See, easy-peasy. I told you.

23 to 25 large prawns [I kept the tail on of a few of them]
1 to 2 tbsp oil
1 to 2 tbsp water
1 tbsp coriander leaves

Marinate prawns in the paste. Refrigerate for a few hours [I kept it overnight .]

In a large pan, heat oil. Add marinated prawns along with all the paste. Sprinkle water. Cook covered till the prawns are completely cooked. Keep stirring to avoid the masala from sticking to the pan. Adjust salt. Garnish with coriander leaves.

 The Goan Rechado masala is a little sweeter, so add extra sugar if needed. I did not want to make it too sweet so I stuck to the 3tsp sugar I added while making the paste. 

Hope you enjoy this Goan delicacy as much as I do :)!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Goan Recheado / Rechard Masala

If you love seafood and have visited Goa, then chances are you would have tried a spicy-sweet-tangy dish with a deep red colour called Rechard Masala. So when I found a recipe to make this paste in a book called "Goenche Swad", I was waiting to try it out. I made a few minor changes, since I was making this for the first time. The recipe called for 1 cup coconut vinegar, but since I had white vinegar I added only 1/2 cup - I was very apprehensive to add a whole cup - and added some coconut oil. I also toned down the spices a bit. This paste can be used as a marinade for your seafood. I found it similar to gheeroast that we get down south, except that rechard masala is tangier and ofcourse, sweeter.

18 to 20 kashmiri chillies, roughly chopped
3/4 tsp haldi powder
1 tsp jeera
12 to 14 peppercorns
5 to 6 cloves
1" cinammon
10 garlic cloves
1" ginger
1 tsp tamarind
2 to 3 tsp sugar
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 cup vinegar


Dump all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well so that the chillies and all the other ingredients get marinated in the vinegar. Leave aside for 30 to 40 minutes. Grind into a smooth paste. [Add a little more oil if required. You could use a little water, but if you want to store the paste for a few days, avoid using water].

I will let you know very soon what I made of this paste. Stay tuned!

So here's what I made - Prawn Rechard.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Baby Corn Bajo / Fritters / Pakoda

What's better than sipping hot soup on a cold and rainy evening? Having some hot, crispy pakodas. Dipped in cold tomato sauce laced with chopped garlic. It rained in M'lore a couple of weeks back and boy, what beautiful rains they were! More than welcome in this hot, sultry summer. No signs of rains for a few days now, but that doesn't stop us from having hot bajjis, now does it? 

10 medium babycorn
½ cup besan (gramflour)
2 tsp rice flour
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp jeera (cumin) or jeera powder
½ tsp ginger garlic paste
2 tsp tomato ketchup
1 pinch hing powder (optional)
1 pinch ajwain (optional)

Oil for frying

[If you don't like the taste of besan you could replace it with maida+cornflour]

Chop babycorn into 1 ½" pieces. Cut the thicker pieces vertically.
In a large bowl add the rest of the ingredients. Add enough water to get a thick-lump-free paste. [When you dip a piece of babycorn, it should coat the babycorn well and when you lift it, a couple of drops of the batter should fall back into the bowl. If the paste is too thick add some more water and mix well.] The batter should be spicy and slightly salty. Adjust accordingly.

Dip babycorn pieces, coat well with batter and deep fry in hot oil.

I served it with some tomato ketchup on which I sprinkled finely chopped garlic and a couple of pieces of green chilli. Yummy combo!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Anjal / Seer Fish Masala Fry

Some of my most cherished memories are the ones I spent with my cousins in my Mamama (maternal granny's) place. Long before the age of Nickelodeons and Nintendos, our summer vacations would mainly comprise of playing in the frontyard, amidst the trees, despite the scorching heat. Hide-and-seek used to be one of our favourites where we would hurriedly count upto 20 and rush to find the others crouching under the bed or stooping behind a tree. We would revel playing "family" and being pretend mommies and daddies working hard at the pretend office or sprawling our kitchen-set in the pretend kitchen. During one such evening,  the daddies brought home some pretend fish (leaves of a tree) and we made some yummy pretend fish fry for them. I don't think my cousins would even remember this day - we were like 8 or 9 years old then, but I couldn't help smiling when I was shallow frying this fish, so badly wanting to relive all those pleasant memories.

I followed my mom's recipe for this one, making a couple of minor changes. The chilli powder I used was a local brand which gave a wonderful colour and was less spicy. Adjust the spice according to your taste. If the fish turns out too spicy, drizzle more lemon juice before serving. Also, if vinegar is not available, replace with lemon juice. I used 7 medium pieces of anjal (surmai / seer fish).

For the marinade
1 tsp chopped ginger
5 to 6 garlic cloves
3 tsp chilli powder 
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp vinegar
2 tbsp water
Salt to taste

For shallow frying:
Curry leaves (about 5 to 6 per piece of fish)

Grind all the ingredients under "for the marinade" into a smooth paste. [The marinade should be spicy and slightly salty]. Apply it all over the fish and refrigerate for a few hours [I kept it overnight]. 

Heat oil in a pan. Add lots of curry leaves, roughly torn. Place fish pieces and drizzle some more oil on top. Cover and shallow fry for a few minutes on each side, till the fish is completely cooked.

Serve hot with a dash of lemon. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Raja Phanna Upkari / Mackerel In Spicy-Tangy Sauce

Raja Phanna Upkari is a super-spicy, delightfully tangy Konkani dish made with very few ingredients. "Raja" here refers to mackerel and somehow for me, this fish is irreplaceable. Ofcourse, you can make this dish with prawns or tilapia or any other type of fish, but I always found mackerels winning hands down on this one.

5 to 6 medium mackerels, cleaned and cut
2 cups onions finely chopped
5 to 6 tsp chilli powder
1 goose-berry sized tamarind

In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup hot water and soak tamarind in it.
In a deep-bottomed pan, heat oil. Add chopped onion and roast for about 10 minutes till they become brownish. Add chilli powder and roast on medium-low heat for 7 to 8 minutes.

Squeeze tamarind in the water as much as possible. Add the water into the pan. Pour some more water on the tamarind, squeeze out the juice completely and add the water to the pan. Discard the tamarind.

 Add a cup or two of water and bring to a boil. Add mackerels. Add more water if needed and salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook till the fish is completely cooked, about 5 to 10 minutes.

People also make this dish by grinding roasted chillies with tamarind. At my mom's place it's usually made with chilli powder. Either ways, the kick the chillies lend are a great accompaniment to rice along with milder fish curries. Love the combo! Fish fry anyone?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kurle Alle Piyava Ghashi / Crabs in Spicy Onion-Ginger Coconut Curry

Eating crabs can be a messy affair. That's why it's best eaten at home, when nobody is watching! Seriously, I get so involved with this dish that I have to be reminded that there is nothing more left that is edible.

Alle Piyava Ghashi is a konkani delicacy where the crab is cooked along with chopped onion and ginger and you get a delicious aftertaste of these ingredients. This is how crab is usually prepared at Amma's place. My mom cleaned and cut the crab for me and made most of this dish while I happily clicked pictures.

5 medium crabs
2 cups grated coconut
7 to 8 roasted red chillies
1 goose-berry sized tamarind
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tsp oil

Grind coconut, red chillies and tamarind with enough water to get a smooth paste.
In a large deep-bottomed pan, add cleaned and cut crabs, onion, ginger and the ground paste. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add more water if needed. Cook till the crabs are completely cooked - about 10 minutes. Adjust salt, drizzle oil. Cover and keep aside for sometime.

Like all seafood curries, this tastes better after a few hours or next day. I like it best with boiled rice, fried fish and a phanna upkari. Now what is that? More in the next post :).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mushroom Biryani

It's hot here in M'lore but somehow the weather doesn't seem to bother me. Probably because I have a lot of others things occupying my mind. Like missing Sunnyvale for instance. I love India, but a place that contributed to my growth immensely, cannot be forgotten easily. Glimpses of my kitchen come flashing into my mind, be it my oven, my cooking range, or for that matter my kitchen sink!! Right now I'm eagerly awaiting the shipment which will bring along with it a lot of my kitchen stuff that were so much a part of my life there.

Coming back to Mangalore, I'm at my Amma's place right now. My brother visited last weekend and I made Mushroom Biryani for him.
For the rice part I followed my egg biryani recipe. For step-by-step pictures go here.

Instead of eggs, ofcourse, I used mushrooms. I must have used about 400g mushrooms.
Chop mushrooms into quarters, wash and place them in a colander to drain off all the excess water. Mushrooms release a lot of water when being cooked so it's better to wash them well in advance and give enough time for the water to drain off.

Transfer mushrooms into a large vessel. Sprinkle garam masala, chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste and salt [I just eye-balled the measurements]. I also added 1 tbsp thick curd. Mix well and marinate for 15 minutes.

Roast the mushrooms on both sides. Since mushrooms release water, it is better to roast them in 3 or 4 batches, a few mushrooms at a time. If you see them releasing water, increase the flame and roast uncovered for a few minutes (keep stirring) till all the water is absorbed.

Once the rice is cooked, add the roasted mushrooms and mix gently. Or just spread rice on a plate and top it with roasted mushrooms.

The next couple of dishes that will feature here are among my favourite. Keep guessing!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

(H)ap(p)y 2nd B'day Apy Cooking! Celebrating with Doll Cake

I always loved writing. Two years back I took a step forward and brought together my two favourite hobbies - experimenting in the kitchen and writing, which gave birth to my blog - Apy Cooking. Till then, I was a happy cook, usually satisfied with my experiments (more with the process than the result).

And then I became thirsty. I wanted to do more. There was this urge to emulate various food bloggers. I wanted to make bread, cakes, decorate them, I wanted to fuse food of different cultures. I started getting hunger pangs for bigger challenges. I wanted to make 3D cakes, I included non veg dishes in my cooking, I made fondant at home.  Results mattered more than the process and Apy Cooking became a passion than a mere food blog.

And then it was time to leave, to bid adieu to my kitchen in sunny Sunnyvale. Bags were being packed, boxes were getting wrapped, and in the middle of all this, my heart was longing to make something very special for my dear food blog. A doll cake. Seriously?? Just a week left to pack up and relocate to India and I wanted to make a doll cake?? Yes, I did. So I unwrapped the homemade marshmallow fondant, whipped up two small microwave chocolate cakes, drenched them with yummilicous Nutella, spread rolled fondant, dressed up the doll and took pictures like my tail was on fire. I was amazed at how fast I could actually make something and take pictures, much to the surprise of my husband who always claimed I spent more time taking pictures of the food than in actually cooking it. I was so tired at the end of it that all I wanted to do was plunge into the hazelnut frosted cake and take a big, fulfilling bite.

So here's how I made the doll cake. I looked up on the internet, ofcourse, for some ideas. I bought a small doll from Michael's (you can get a bigger doll for a bigger cake). I then made half recipe of microwave chocolate cake and poured the batter into two microwave-safe bowls, one larger than the other. I microwaved the cakes [ smaller bowl - 2 minutes, larger bowl - 3 1/2 minutes ], allowed to cool completely and inverted them. I then frosted with Nutella and placed the smaller cake on the larger one and frosted all over.

I then took a small portion of marshmallow fondant (you can use store-bought fondant), dusted powdered sugar (u can use crisco) on the mat (fondant sticks easily to countertops, add more crisco if not using a mat, or stick parchment paper on the countertop), coloured the fondant and rolled it. I then covered the cake with the coloured fondant and removed the extra bits.

It was time to dress the doll. I do wish I had more time to make the dress a lot prettier. But the large carboard boxes were calling for attention, so I wrapped the poor doll in average "clothes" (thank God dolls don't speak), placed some beads made of fondant and piped buttercream stars on the dress. I did want to avoid using buttercream and wanted to make it all fondant. But just to be safe, I had a small jar of store-bought buttercream icing (thank you, Wilton). I'm glad I had it because Nutella, being brown in colour peeps through the clothes when you try to join two fondant bits. I got away with the beads on her waist, but for the neckline and the little rose on her shoulder (ahem, I'm not exactly a fashion designer), I used buttercream for binding.

I was so happy and thrilled at the end to see the little doll in her pretty dress. Reminded me of the time I had seen a barbie doll cake for a cousin's 5th b'day party. Though not as beautifully decked up as the Barbie doll cake, my little doll stood proud as we celebrated.

 Happy B'day Apy Cooking!! Not sure when the next post will be since we arrived only yesterday and have a lot of settling down to do, but until then dear readers, Happy Cooking!!


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