Friday, 6 July 2012

Chocolate & Banana's

 Banana's. The only thing goes through my head for months. I made classic banana cake endlessly for the past few months. I tried to make Momofuku milk bar banana layer cake for a change, which was a decision I made quickly because my banana's are very ripped. Sadly I didn't have most of the ingredients decided to tweak the recipe as I please. I called it the messiest cake on earth, I just piled things over each other and voilà its delicious. What I did is I made banana cake, banana cream, and chocolate fudge. I tweaked by adding hazelnuts to the chocolate fudge sauce and cornflakes crunch between the layers.

I had some banana cream left over from the banana cake. On that day I made dark chocolate ice-cream, I used half of the batch and mixed the banana cream and the result is .. Amazing!

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
adapted from The Cilantropist

1 cup fat free milk
2 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon dutch process cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
5-6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the fat free milk in a medium bowl (enough to easily hold 3 cups liquid), and place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl.  In a separate small bowl, whisk two egg yolks.  Set both bowls aside.

In a large saucepan, combine heavy cream, cocoa powder, and sugar.  Whisk well to evenly incorporate solids, and then heat over medium-high heat until it just boils.  Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the chocolate in three additions, making sure that all the chocolate pieces are dissolved before continuing.  Next, use a soup ladle or large spoon to transfer a small amount of the warm chocolate mixture to the small bowl with the egg yolks; add the hot liquid all at once to the yolks, whisking the yolks constantly.  Then transfer the entire contents of the small bowl back into the saucepan and return to medium-high heat.  Heat the chocolate mixture, stirring constantly, until the liquid begins to thicken slightly.  Remove the pan from the heat.

Strain the chocolate mixture through the fine mesh sieve and into the medium bowl that already contains the fat free milk.  (The sieve catches any egg pieces that might have 'cooked,' so if you don't have a sieve or don't care about if you have some egg in your ice cream, just skip this and add the hot chocolate liquid directly to the milk.)  Finally, stir in the vanilla until everything is smooth, and then transfer the bowl to the fridge to let it cool completely (about 3 hours). Once it is cool, process according to instructions on your ice cream maker.

Shaikha x

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Think Pink!

My skills in baking developed tremendously in just few months, about two weeks ago (fifth of May) it was my young sister’s birthday, we don’t usually do something during birthdays but since I had the skills and spirit I decided I’d make the cake myself. My sister, I mean all young girls just love the color pink so I decided to make the whole cake pink inside and out. It was strawberry cake filled with strawberry filling and covered with white chocolate buttercream.

The decorating wasn’t perfect, because the consistency of the buttercream was a bit runny. I had no idea what I did but let me tell you this, the flavor of it was so enchanting, didn’t want to ruin it by adding more sugar to thicken it out. 


Thursday, 26 April 2012


 Just knowing that this could be the first summer to spend here home it makes me feel weird, I have no idea what sort of activities I'll be doing. The good part is, I'll have the time in the world to cook and bake. 

One early morning, I decided to make éclairs for a friend of mine because the day before the girls and I went out for lunch at the Chinese bristo but she decided to buy something sweet and she bought eclairs from Paul,
coincidentally I was planning to make some during the weekend. 

The secret behind éclairs is that the Pâte Choux or Cream Puff Pastry should be dry inside, drying it out properly will allow the filling to enter the dough and moisten it without making it soggy. You have hundreds of choices when it comes to filling them, you can fill it with whatever you want. I filled mine with creme légère. Éclairs are best eaten the same day

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Chocolate Chocolate x2

The best part about these cookies, that they last really long. They are dry and melt in just few seconds. The biggest mistake was, I didn't double the quantity. Having this piece of heaven with a cup of cold milk and a book to read, the ultimate comfort.

The good thing about this recipe its not too sweet, doesn't contain a lot of sugar. Perfectly balanced with the bittersweet chocolate.

Double Dark Chocolate Shortbread
(makes about 12-14 cookies, double the recipe if you want to) 

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

  • Put the flour, sugar, and cocoa powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine well.
  • Drop in the butter and vanilla and pulse until the mixture just comes together. 
  • Stir in the chocolate chips and turn the dough out onto a board and form into an 8" log. 
  • Wrap it in waxed or parchment paper and twist both ends to secure.  Refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.  You can also freeze the dough for later use.
  • Slice the log into 1/2" slices with a sharp knife.
  • Put on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven at 325 for 12 to 15 minutes.  They will feel slightly soft, don't over bake them.
  • Cool for a few minutes on the pan and then transfer to a rack.
  • If you're going to give them away make sure they are completely cool before you package them.

A box of it? I win

Shaikha xx,

Thursday, 2 February 2012

French breakfast [Croissant]

My love for croissant has no limits, it my favorite breakfast, snack, sometimes dinner and lunch. In other words, all day. I was thinking of croissants all week, until the weekend. Making croissants may take up to 12 hours & the day I start making my croissant, my father decided we should go for a mini-trip which made the dough rest more than it should be, when I came back home the dough was sticky, when I started to knead the dough, it came back into a soft ball. I spread the butter did all the steps, and while I was rolling I noticed the butter was coming out of the dough, I tried to be delicate and when I finished cutting and rolling the croissant, the dough didn't rise and decided to bake them, they turned really awful, the butter oozed out and it was just a dry dough witch soaked up all the butter.

 I gave it a second shot, and this time I was patient, didn't want to rush the process of making it, and it took me 2 days, because I left the dough in the fridge over night, so I could focus and be careful, and let me tell you, as soon as those croissant came out of the oven, I celebrated and the whole family got excited and happy.

I used Julia Child's recipe, it was a success. I can't wait to give it another shot.

I would love to post the recipe, but the internet made it easy. I'll post few pictures on the steps how to make croissant.

These are 2 pages of several on how to make croissant from Julia Child's book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"

 FULL RECIPE [Mastering the Art of French Cooking]

Those flaky, hearty, french croissant. Soft from the inside, crunchy and flaky from the outside, just the way it is.

Shaikha xx

Monday, 30 January 2012

اشتياق دائم

There will be no end for a struggle, as long as you breathe. Am I right? 
This is the only statement I have in mind for so long now.  It’s true.

My passion and love for cooking will never fade away, but I don’t recognize what’s going on lately.  I lost about 6 to 10 kilos. I found my way out of this cage, not freedom, nor will I ever think of freedom. I found a way where I can demolish everything, I forever will be thankful, that my attention now is dragged to Arabic literature. This made me remember my most glorious country I fell in love with, I fell in love with the people and everything about it, its Tunisia my love for this country is endless, the blue doors are everywhere in this country

I’m glad that it was meant to happen, the only way to get over my grief, is to remember the beautiful days, and this is one of the best.

During my early life, I never appreciated Arabic literature, I was content with English but I was wrong, completely wrong. I questioned lately why don’t I have the rush and desire to read book as I use to? I couldn’t figure it out until I decided to go to a public area and ignore the whole world and just focus on my book, and it worked! I am amused and inspired to read when I’m in a public place, the place I chose to read was at a special place, it reminds of someone who use to be, wait, who will always be special. 

 الحياة الطيبة هي استقرار النفس
 ولكن اتهم المشاعر التي لا ترحم

And once an Emirati writer said Yasser Harib (من علامات الحُب أن نظل في اشتياق دائم لمن نحب )
It goes to everybody.

Shaikha xx

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Hopes fade away & reborn again, but sometimes they just fade away for good. In my case lets say I'm just thankful to be alive. Lu lac d'Annecy this place will forever remain special, forever. I took this picture before the sun was gone, this is almost the end of the lake. On this very spot I swam with my father, we had a bet that day. The lake was so cold I didn't feel my legs the first 15 minutes, the fact the water was so sweet I didn't mind sipping one or two by mistake. I remember the next morning leaving Annecy very early so we could go to Paris, the mist and steam coming out of the lake early in the morning was amazing.

Its cold, all year long, day and night, but the sun never fails to comfort.

There would be more posts about cooking, though lately I'm not getting anywhere with my culinary life. Lets just hope things get better. Without dream ofcourse, but at least, lets just do something ..

Shaikha xx
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