Along with the afternoon teatimes or early morning cup of “chai,” one needs a crumbly cookie to enjoy each sip. Some of us who believe that tea and cookies are quite British, are in for a surprise when our grandmas open a boxful of desi Parle-G. Indians love to dunk their cookies into a hot cuppa. Popping in the limp yet “melt in the mouth” cookie itself is a ritual that one cannot get away with.
A decadent layered tower or a simple homemade Bundt, cakes have always caught people’s attention. Cakes have adorned the perfect grub of a morning brekkie, a sweet something after lunch, with evening tea or after a special dinner. Cakes have also been the centrepiece of weddings, joyous moments and celebrations. They definitely do create magic moments in everyone’s life.
Though all of us have our own flavour preferences, there is no two way about how much we love them. Crispy at the edges but gooey and soft inside, cookies have always been everyone’s favourite. Similarly, soft and moist cakes are crowd-pleasers. If both cake and the cookie have something hidden inside, then it’s a perfect icing on the cookie, oops cake!
Centre-filled cakes and cookies are easy to make at home. One needs a little bit of patience and some practice. Most centre-filled cakes and cookies call for hawk’s eye while baking them. One can fill the cakes or the cookies with either fruit pulps or chocolates or cheese or a combination of these. The trick in having an oozing finished product is that the centre fill should be frozen or in the solid-state. For example, a fruit jam which is shaped in a ball and frozen will end up giving the desired effect. One can also try a combination of cream cheese or any mild cheese with fruit pulp. These can be frozen and popped into a cake. They can be flattened into discs and encased within a cookie dough. The all-time favourite chocolate can be cut into bite-size and put into cake or cookie dough.
The process of centre-filled cakes is quite simple. The technique can be used for a loaf or a cake baked in tins too. They can also be used for cupcakes or mug cakes. The procedure is the same but the baking time and the quantity of the fills vary. To start, one needs to understand the flavour combinations. Accordingly, one can prepare the fillings. To prepare the fillings, fruit pulp can be cooked with some pectin and sugar. This can be cooked on a slow flame till it thickens and comes together as a single mass. Once it cools down, it can be shaped into bite-sized balls for cupcakes or mug cakes or a bigger ball for a cake baked in a tin. This can then be frozen overnight. To make the cake one needs to prepare the cake batter and pour it into a cupcake mould or a mug or a tin till halfway. It is now time to pop in the frozen ball in the centre. The frozen ball can be covered well with the cake batter. This goes into the oven and baked normally till the cake is baked. The same process can be followed for the centre-filled cookie. The only change is instead of a ball one needs to flatten it into a disc to be encompassed with the cookie dough.
The recipes would give a fair idea of the process and flavour combinations.
Coconut cake with mango surprise
Ingredients for the centre filling:
Mango pulp: 1 cup
Sugar: as per taste
Pectin: 1 tsp
Ingredients for the cake:
Powdered sugar: 1 cup
Baking soda: 1 ½ tsp
Maida: 1 ¾ cup
Desiccated coconut: 1 cup
Milk: ½ cup
Vinegar: ½ tsp
Coconut oil: ¾ cup
To make the filling, churn the pulp into a fine puree. Pass it through a sieve. Add sugar if necessary. Mix well. Put this on a slow heat. Once it starts to thicken add pectin and cook for another couple of minutes till it reaches near solidification state, like a jam. Make a big ball and freeze it overnight.
To make the cake, keep three bowls handy. In bowl one, beat the eggs well with the sugar. In bowl two, sieve maida with baking powder. Now add desiccated coconut to the flour. In bowl three, warm the milk and add vinegar till it curdles. Mix well with coconut oil. Now add contents in bowl one and bowl three into bowl two in small quantities and ensure to constantly keep mixing.
Prepare a cake tin and pour 2/3 of the batter into the tin. Now pop in the frozen mango and fill the tin with the rest of the batter. Bake the cake at 180℃ for 30-35 mins.
Raspberry and White Chocolate-Filled Muffin
Ingredients the centre filling:
Raspberry jam: 4-5 tbsp
White chocolate: ½ cup (melted)
Ingredients for the muffin:
Maida: 1 cup
Baking powder: 1 tsp
Powdered sugar: 1/3 cup
Salt: a pinch
Eggs: 2 small
Milk: 1/3 cup
Oil: ¼ cup
Vanilla extract: ½ tsp
For the filling, mix in the jam with melted chocolate and let it cool. One can make small balls once cooled.
For the muffin, take 2 bowls. In bowl one, sieve maida with baking powder. Mix in the salt and powdered sugar into the flour. In bowl two, beat in all the liquids along with the eggs. Mix the contents of bowl two into bowl one. Prepare a muffin mould and pour ½ of the batter into the mould. Insert the chocolate and jam ball and cover ¾ of the mould. Bake the muffins for 15-20 mins in a preheated oven at 180℃.
Maida: 1 cup
Semolina: 2 tbsp
Baking soda: ¼ tsp
Powdered sugar: ½ cup
Salt: a pinch
Butter; 1/3 cup
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp
For the filling:
Dark Chocolate: 12 small bite-size pieces
Sieve maida and baking soda. Add in semolina, sugar and salt. Mix butter and essence and bring it together into a dough. Take lemon-sized balls of the dough and make a crater. Place a piece of chocolate and envelop the chocolate with the dough. Flatten it to an oval shape. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 180℃ for 10 minutes. Let them cool and enjoy the ooze in each bite.
A cake or coffee with delectable drippings with every bite is sure to be etched in everyone’s memory forever. One can try these super-simple yet delicious cakes and cookies to make the family time a memorable one.