Sunday 2 August 2015

Rainbow Cream Cupcakes + Giant Pizza + Super Soft Naan: 25-31 July 2015.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful


Sabr (patience) and Shukr (gratitude) are wonderful things,
the praises to Allah we should always sing,
when things go right, it's from Him not me,
and when they are wrong, we get through patiently.

{Zain Bhikha}
I hope you've had a lovely week. can you believe it's August already?? I think because of Ramadan, we kind of forgot about July even starting and now that it's ended, I'm like, July who?

the weekend began with hot sunshine so I decided to make homemade fruit ice lollies. my Sunday bake was going very well until the entire jar of jam that I had put in it decided to explode in the oven. 
Monday was v.busy but I still managed to make an epic chicken salad for lunch, rustle up a few biscuits and shortcrust pastry.

my nieces and cousins were over to bake with me on Tuesday. we had so much fun with a medical emergency and plenty of chit chat thrown in too.
the mother made the mother of all pizzas for lunch on Wednesday. it disappeared pretty fast. I experimented with coconut milk in my soup and enjoyed a classic curry.
also, we discovered a recipe for pretty much the best, most softest naan ever. I'm so excited to make it again for all of you.

here's more from my week:

 doing breakfast right on Saturday morning with marmalade on toast and coffee.
it was sunny here on Saturday - a proper summer's day so I decided to make homemade ice lollies.
and, made plenty of mess along the way.
these were fruit ice lollies - layers of blended fresh mango and strawberries.
I added the tiniest amount of icing sugar to the strawberry puree though since they were not the sweetest.
the alphonso mangoes needed no sugar whatsoever - they were sweet enough.
in went the sticks and on went the lid.
into the freezer until completely frozen. they were delicious - so simple and very refreshing.
I used this recipe.
sauces lined up for dinner ...
... because we had fries and vegetable pakoras.
and, when there is any form of chip ...
... making a chip butty is never far from anyone's mind.
 spicy scrambled eggs because it's Sunday.
with toast and coffee!
using up a jar of homemade mixed berry jam today which I made last year.
I made a double batch of this recipe and replaced the fruit part for homemade jam.
a pumpkin pie spiced crumble was whipped up.
along with a cinnamon yoghurt cake batter.
ready to assemble. I placed a layer of jam at the bottom of the tin.
followed by a layer of cake batter, more dollops of jam and then, the rest of the batter.
to finish ...
... a thick layer of the pumpkin pie spiced crumble. I made my own pumpkin pie spice and you can see how here!
since I made a double batch and forgot about how jam tends to bubble up when baked, this happened.
thankfully, with the addition of an extra tray and a different oven, it was done.
whaaat?? seriously guys, this cake crumble was good. it was everything all in one. a fluffy cinnamon-scented sponge (yoghurt is the key), crumbly crumble and plenty of jam.
eaten hot with cold vanilla ice cream while watching the rain drizzle outside, it was perfection.
but alas one cannot survive on cake alone. the spices were out ...
... which could only mean one thing.
it was curry time! we made this one!
I also did a little prep for the next day.
with plenty of fresh coriander.
and, chicken!
 tomatoes all lined up on Monday afternoon.
there's red onion, feta and olives in my salad. who am I??!
think I overfilled this bowl.
best meal this week. recipe coming to your kitchen very soon, insha allah.
making a batch of savoury shortcrust pastry ready for pastie making the next day.
I also tried my hand at these biscuits. they were such a mission to pipe though.
baked and set aside overnight to cool.
baking the chocolate cake early on Tuesday morning.
ingredients set out to bake vanilla rainbow cupcakes. my nieces and cousins were coming over for a bake session and following the success of these colourful cupcakes last time, we just had to make them again.
we began with the cupcake batter. I made 24 cupcakes using:
12 ounces margarine
10 ounces caster sugar
place into a bowl and beat until well combined.
5 large eggs, beaten
3 teaspoons vanilla flavouring
mix in. then, add:
1 level teaspoon baking powder
14 ounces self-raising flour
a drop of milk, to loosen
mix well.
you can see the method here along with a similar recipe for 12 cupcakes.
also, a quick tip thing, if, after adding the beaten eggs, the mixture curdles, DO NOT PANIC. simply, remain calm and add the flour and baking powder. mix it in and see the mixture transform into a beautiful cake batter which you may be tempted to just eat with a spoon. not that I have any experience in this matter. 
anyway, after the batter was made, we split the mixture into four bowls and got to colouring them.
the nieces chose four colours: orange, turquoise, pink and lilac. 
the food colour gels I used can be found here.
we placed 24 cupcake cases into two tins ...
... began filling them.
there's no real method here.
simply put a dollop of each colour into each case, filling it about 3/4 way full. I didn't bother swirling them or anything because they were going to bake into each other anyway.
the cakes were baked at 180C / Gas Mark 4 for between 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one of them came out clean and with no wet batter on it.

once all 24 were baked, they were left to cool completely.
whilst we decorated those Viennese fingers that I had baked the night before. 
again, no real method here. simply drizzle them with melted and cool milk chocolate. let them set before eating.

of course, one cannot survive on cupcakes and biscuits alone, so we ate lunch.

using the savoury shortcrust pastry that I had made the day before, my Mother rolled and filled them with a spicy chicken mince filling with peas and potatoes to make keema pasties.

filled, egg-washed and ready to bake.
time for lunch!
we ate them with ketchup, chips and plenty of vinegar.

after lunch, the cupcakes were completely cool.
last time, we decorated the cupcakes with coloured vanilla buttercream. this time, we made a vanilla whipped cream.
and, we decided to turn the cupcakes into butterfly buns.
so, we cut out the tops of the buns.
coloured up our whipped cream.
and, got to decorating!
the tops that we had cut out were sliced in half and placed on as the "wings" of the butterflies.
oh, and we popped on a few strawberries because strawberries and cream.
a final flourish and even more colour with sprinkles and glitter sugar.
and, we were done! the cupcakes were really light and full of vanilla flavour. also, the whipped cream matched them beautifully making them not too sweet.
a quick tip for anyone baking with children: keep it simple and the more colour, the better!
after a panic over an asthma inhaler ...
... it was time for chocolate cake!
before plenty of stories and anecdotes from the little ones and then, time to go home!
pizza for lunch on Wednesday.
a simple homemade pizza base with a no-cook tomato sauce, leftover chicken filling from those pasties the day before, sliced red onion, sliced pickled peppers, grated Cheddar and plenty of fresh basil.

fresh fenugreek picking.

to make aloo methi.

I roasted tomatoes in coconut oil with plenty of salt, pepper and garlic.
to make a coconut milk based tomato soup.
rainbow cupcake to end the day!
my second coffee (!) to get me through Thursday afternoon and blogging this recipe.
for dinner, my Mother made homemade naan. oh my gosh, this naan was the highlight of my week. it was so soft, even when cold. I wrote the recipe down and will be making it again asap.
to go with it, chicken cooked very simply with ginger, garlic, tinned tomatoes, red chilli powder, salt, pepper and green chillies. it was inspired by something my cousin cooked last year.
and, the naan!
seriously. it tasted almost like a cake. it was so soft and sponge like. 
such a delicious dinner.
eaten very simply with cucumber, lettuce, pickled peppers and yoghurt with mint sauce stirred through it.
feeling under the weather on Friday so lunch was leftover tomato soup with fried chicken polony.

this time one year ago:
Eid-ul-Fitr + Dim Sum + Homemade Granola

lately, on the blog:
Eid-al-Fitr + Roti Quesadillas + Tuna Sweetcorn Crackers
Lamb Spinach Curry - Gosht Palak
July 2015: The One Where We Celebrated Eid-al-Fitr


And on the earth are signs for the certain (in faith)

And in yourselves. Then will you not see?

{Surah Adh-Dhariyat, Verses 20 and 21}

Have a lovely week everyone. Keep me in your duas, please,


Spice Enthusiast
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