Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Roasted Strawberry Smoothie

Its the time of the year when most of us wants to start the year the right way, the healthy way. After all the gorging in the holiday season, its time to take it slow. Don't you think? What I have got today is exactly what you are gonna love. The healthy smoothie is just the right way to kick start a new day and a new year for that matter. Strawberries, yes, they are in season here in Mumbai. The fruit vendors are loaded with loads of local strawberry produce and I want to make the most of it this time of the year. 

To start with the strawberry season, I want to start from the most simple recipe and then will go on to make different varieties; may be a strawberry cheesecake, strawberry shortcake and strawberry pie. What recipe do you want me to try this season???

For this smoothies I roasted the strawberries as roasting brings out the real flavour and colour of strawberries. It is an extra step which can certainly be omitted but I would prefer you too to stick to it as the taste of roasted strawberries is much better than the normal one's. Not much work here, just cut the strawberries, put it in a baking dish, add 1/4 cup of corn syrup and let it bake for about an hour at 150 C. Look at the intensified colour of roasted strawberries here. Love it, huh?

Another good thing about smoothies is you need not stick to the prescribed ingredients as you otherwise would in baking. You can mix and match anything as per your taste, availability or choice and the end result would always be great. 

And you can serve this soup with morning breakfast on the upcoming Valentine's Day!

Lets get to the recipe...

Roasted Strawberry Smoothie

Here's what you would need to make Roasted Strawberry Smoothie:

1 box (454 grams) fresh strawberries
1/4 cup/ 60 ml light corn syrup
1/4 cup/ 50 grams granulated white sugar (you can adjust the sugar to taste)
1/4 - 1/2 cup plain yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche, or to taste
1/2 - 1 cup (120 - 240 ml) milk or cream, or to taste
1 - 2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice, or to taste (optional)
Some whipped cream on top for garnishing (optional)

Here's how you can make it:

Preheat your oven to 300 F/ 150 C.

  • Wash and cut the strawberries in half (or quarters if using large strawberries) and toss with the corn syrup. 
  • Place on a baking dish and bake in preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until the color of the strawberries intensifies and the syrup is thick, about 45 - 60 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven, let it cool to room temperature.
  • In the food processor, process strawberries until pureed. Add the sugar, yogurt, milk, and lime or lemon juice and process until combined. Adjust the ingredients to taste.
  • If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate.
  • Serve the smoothie in a glass and garnish with some whipped cream.
Hope you would also enjoy making this recipe as much as I did.

If you like this recipe and if want to be updated with the new recipes updated on the blog, don't forget to subscribe on email or like me on FB or simply post a comment about the blog below.

Happy Baking!

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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Best of Soniaz Delights 2013 - Top 10 Most Popular Recipes in 2013

The year 2013 comes to an end. I am really excited as Soniaz Delights completed its first complete year. Its time for all of us to have a look back at the things we did good during the year. When I was taking account of my learnings of 2013, I am pretty happy for myself as I did fairly well for Soniaz Delights. I tried/ learned so many new recipes, failed in a few but over all did amazing baking. 

Take a look at the pictures of first full year of Soniaz Delights baking. Amazing, isn't it? Some of the recipes  in the picture above I tried during the year have still not seen the light of the day on this blog as I have been busy with some family and work commitments but I promise I will archive all of it to have a look at it soon. Let this be my new year's resolution for 2014.

Here it is....
Revealing the most popular recipes of 2013 (first time ever)........ 

:::Drum Roll:::

Starting with number 10 and counting down to No. 1...

10. Orange Chiffon Cake - This one is my personal favourite for the simple reason this cake is as light as chiffon and the orangy tanginess is perfect to give the freshness

9. Triple Chocolate Cookies - No surprises here, who wouldn't like chocolate and when there are three kinds of chocolate in one cookies...YuMMM!!!

8. Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Ganache - These were the first brownies I ever made and I am still in love with them

7. Not just a Banana Bundt Cake with Chocolate Frosting - Love this combination of bananas and chocolate

6. Eggless Plum Cake - a family favourite, made this cake again this festive season.

5. DIY: Homemade Almond Flour - first DIY to make the list. Hoping to include more DIYs in 2014

4. Eggless Nutella Pinwheel Cookies - loved this one

3. Eggless Coconut Macaroons - super simple recipe. Hope you've loved making this one

2. Karachi Bakery Style Homemade Fruit Biscuits - this post is being viewed every single day i believe

And now..... Ladies and Gentlemen....presenting to you....
::: Drum roll:::

No. 1. The Best Eggless Chocolate Truffle Cake - simply the best one ever

What was your recipe post on Soniaz Delights in 2013??? 

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Friday, 6 December 2013

Pumpkin Pie

I know Thanksgiving is over and many of you have already made Pumpkin Pie and shifted the focus to making some great Christmas cookies and goodies for gifting. I know I have not been able to put anything on the blog for a long time as I was busy with loads of work and was not having the right temperament to write anything on this space. We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in India, but who stops one from celebrating. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to complete Thanksgiving, here's the Pumpkin Pie recipe that I recently made.

This was my first ever encounter with pumpkin, I have never made anything with pumpkin ever before in my life nor have I tasted anything made out of pumpkin. Hence I was very excited, enthusiastic and at the same time suspicious while trying this pie. How's will it come out? Will I and everybody else like it? Am I doing it right? Questions...questions...that was all on my mind while baking for the first time.

I prepared the Homemade Pumpkin Puree a day before and prepared the pie the next day. I started with preparing the pastry crust for the pie, toasted pecans for the perfect pie for Thanksgiving, prepared the pecan biscuit layer, pumpkin pie filling, put it all together in the pie dish. And God, how curious I was all the time during the pie was baking to see the results and taste my first Pumpkin Pie.

As the baking time got over and I had a final look at the pie, it was amazing...or I would say love at first sight! Like a little girl, I couldn't wait to let the pie come to room temperature and cut it's first slice. This was good! Really good!

As it turn out, everybody loved it. Now, I have to give you all the pumpkin recipe to try. To come to think of it, whats your favorite Thanksgiving/Pumpkin recipe? Do share with me your favorite recipes to try.

(Print this recipe)

Pumpkin Pie:

Preparation Time: 2 hours, divided
Baking Time: 45-55 minutes

Makes one 9 inch pie.

Recipe adapted from:

Here's whats you would need to make Pumpkin Pie:

Pastry Crust:

1 1/4 cups (175 gms) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp granulated white sugar
1/2 cup (115 gms) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice cold water

Pecan and Gingersnap Layer: (optional)

1/4 cup (25 gms) pecans, toasted and ground
1/4 cup (25 gms) crushed gingersnap cookies

Pumpkin Filling:

3 large eggs
1 - 15 ounce can (425 gms) homemade roasted pumpkin puree
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (110 gms) light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Maple Whipped Cream:

1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup

Here's how you can make it:

I. Short Crust Pastry: 
  • In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. 
  • Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds).
  • Add 1/8 cup (about 2 tbsps) water at first and process just until the dough holds together when pinched. If required, add the remaining water.
  • Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. 
  • Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour. 
  • After the dough has chilled sufficiently, place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 13 inch (33 cm) circle, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll to avoid dough to stick on the counter.
  • Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Trim the pastry to the edge of the pie pan. 
  • Refrigerate the pastry, covered with plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes.
II. Pecan Gingersnap Layer: 
  • Toast pecans in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. 
  • Cool and then place the pecans, along with the gingersnap cookies, in a food processor and process until finely ground. 
  • Press this mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the unbaked pie crust. 
  • Cover and return the pastry to the refrigerator while you make the pumpkin filling.
Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place the rack in bottom third of the oven.

III. Make the Pumpkin Filling: 
  • In a large bowl lightly whisk the eggs. 
  • Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. 
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell and place on a large baking pan to catch any spills. 
  • Bake the pie for about 45-55 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust has browned (the center will still look wet). (A knife inserted about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from side of pan will come out almost clean.)
Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature with maple whipped cream. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

IV. Make the Maple Whipped Cream: 
  • Place the heavy whipping cream and maple syrup in bowl of your electric mixer. 
  • With the whisk attachment, whip the cream until soft peaks form.
Sending this recipe to for Thanksgiving Challenge.

Hope you would also enjoy making this recipe as much as I did.

If you like this recipe and if want to be updated with the new recipes updated on the blog, don't forget to subscribe on email or like me on FB or simply post a comment about the blog below.

Happy Baking!

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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Italian Lemon Cake

We got home an Italian Lemon Tree planted in a pot last month. Its a small baby with 6 green lemons on the plant. Since then I have been watering that l'il baby every single day waiting for the lemons to turn yellow. I wanted to try so many citrus recipes with these home grown lemons. But more than a month passed and still the lemons didn't turned yellow; the waiting part is so difficult. Until one day when I a lemon turned slightly yellow. That's when I got my first Italian lemon to use for my baking experiments.

It was a very tough to decide on one recipe to make with my very first Italian lemon. I was tempted to try among so many citrus recipes with that one lemon but I kinda decided to make a lemon cake as I had made it at various several occasion and it's been a hit every single time I have made it but somehow never got a chance to feature it on the blog here because I didn't have any pictures of those cakes I had made earlier. 
And being such a expensive Italian lemon tree, I didn't want to take too many chances with it.

I got this Ina Garten's recipe of Lemon Cake from food network and kind of got intrigued to see that the cake gets its lemon flavour from the lemon zest while the lemon syrup is used to infuse the cake with some lemony flavour topped with a lemon glaze. Hence, this cake gets loaded with triple the lemony tangyness and the citrus flavour oozes out on every single bite of this cake very beautifully. The cake was so fresh and the tartness of lemon was just enough to kick all the right flavours in the mouth which lingers for a long time. 

The cake gets a very nice crust from the outside and perfect moistness from the yogurt. This cake is simply perfect for any time of the day.

Lets take you to the recipe

(Print this recipe)
Italian lemon Cake

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 50 minutes

Makes one 9x5 loaf cake

Here's what you would need to make Lemon Cake:

Lemon Cake:

1 1/2 cups/ (175 gms) all purpose flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt 
1 cup/ (240 ml) yogurt
1 1/3 cup/ (200 gms + 65 gms) caster sugar, divided
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp lemon zest (from 1 large Italian lemon/ 3 small lemons)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup/ (120 ml) vegetable oil
1/3 cup/ (80 ml) lemon juice


1 cup (115 gms) icing or confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Here's how you can make it:
Preheat your oven to 180 degree C/ 350 degree F. Grease a 9X5X2 inch loaf pan with butter and dust with flour to form a coating.
  • In a bowl, sift all purpose flour, baking powder and salt and whisk it all together to until all dry ingredients come together.
  • In another bowl add 1 cup sugar and curd and whisk it until nicely combined.
  • Add all the three eggs and vanilla extract to the sugar yogurt mixture and whisk it until all the ingredients combine together.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the mixture and combine in the batter using a rubber spatula.
  • Add the lemon zest and give it a good stir.
  • Add vegetable oil and mix it well.
  • Pour the batter in the prepared loaf tin and bake for about 50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking in the oven, combine lemon juice with 1/3 cup of remaining sugar in a heatproof container and heat it over medium flame until the sugar is dissolved and makes a lemony simple syrup. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat off and let the syrup cool to room temperature.
  • Once the cake is baked, let the cake cool in the loaf pan kept over a cooling rack for 10 minutes before taking the loaf from pan. Let the loaf cool on the wire rack kept over a baking tray. 
  • Once the loaf is warm enough to handle with hands, poke holes on the top layer of the loaf using tooth pick and pour the lemon syrup over the cake. Let the lemon syrup get soaked into the loaf before glazing the top layer with the lemon glaze.
  • Sift the icing sugar and add lemon juice and stir it until smooth.
  • Pour the glaze on the cake before serving.

Hope you would also enjoy enjoy making this as much as I did!

Happy Baking!

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