Vanilla Sky!!!

Brian:You can do whatever you want with your life, but one day you’ll know what love truly is. It’s the sour and the sweet. And I know sour, which allows me to appreciate the sweet.

————————————Vanilla Sky


I just love the movie and that is why the name…..however it is not the movie that we would be discussing here but part of its name “Vanilla” i am sure most of you know that by now…but yes I would like to tell you that most pictures have been clicked by hubby dearest and I love them,hope you guys like them as much……..

Now coming to the topic of our new discussion”VANILLA”.There is so much this one plant can offer when it comes to baking or otherwise.I love vanilla, don’t we all…its sweet fragrance that it leaves behind as the cake rises with a beautiful golden top or its soft taste in the sugar that had been deep buried and left over to soak up…or my favorite white pillar candle which is also Vanilla flavored,I am sure you all can guess by now how much i love Vanilla.

I know vanilla is my favorite flavor out of all the flavors that I have tried making (coffee,mint,lemon,orange,spearmint,lavender,vanilla and many more to begin with)and today I am here to talk about how to make your own vanilla paste,extract or flavored sugar.

To begin with i would want you guys to know how to make the extract and once that happens I will tell you how to make the paste or the flavored sugar which is easy peasy I assure you. So what are we waiting for let us get started…….


what is Vanilla ??

Vanilla is the flavoring that is derived from the orchids of genus vanilla,primarily from the Mexican species. Now my personal favorite is the Madagascar vanilla….love love love the fragrance & the flavor.There are a lot of other vanilla types,brands & varieties which might be cheaper that are also available in the market but let me assure you once you use the good stuff you shall never go back to any of those.

Vanilla is the second-most expensive spice after saffron because growing the vanilla seed pods is labor-intensive. Despite the expense, vanilla is highly valued for its flavor.As a result, vanilla is widely used in both commercial and domestic baking, perfume manufacture, and aromatherapy.

Madagascar vanilla is produced in Madagascar and neighboring islands in the southwestern Indian Ocean, and in Indonesia from where I usually prefer getting mine from.

    vanilla in a bottle

time: 15 minutes




5-10 vanilla pod good quality (I got mine from Bali when I traveled last year)

1 quarter bottle of vodka( Smirnoff is my preferred choice however you can or may choose a cheaper one as well and it does not affect the quality of the extract your vanilla does)


  1. Slice you vanilla pod from the middle however do not scrape the vanilla beans out. This is just to activate the vanilla when it is submerged in the vodka.Now,you can always use lesser vanilla beans which will lead to a lighter colored extract and will have a less strong flavor,at least that is what I have experienced so all in all 10 work for me for a fragrant and strong vanilla extract.
  2. Once you have sliced all your vanilla beans from the middle,add them to your vodka bottle and seal and set aside.

Now I am sure that most of you would be tempted to open that bottle every now and then & check how is the vodka and vanilla doing but please don’t do that.Let it sit for at least 8 week not any lesser,in my case i leave it for 4 months but make about 3 bottles which last me a year as the flavor matures with time.

So after about 8+ weeks of patient waiting you will have something like this(picture attached for reference) a beautiful bottle of vanilla extract which can be an amazing gift during Christmas,Diwali or as a matter of fact even Mother’s day in case your mum is a hobby baker just like mine.I usually store my vanilla in pop bottles and let them mature in that in case i plan to gift them to people,if not my savior is usually the store bought vodka bottle which works perfectly fine for my personal use.

vanilla bean paste(homemade)

Now vanilla paste is different yet similar to vanilla extract. The similarity is basically the vanilla in both of the them so comes the flavor along however texture wise they are quite different.I would always find vanilla bean paste stronger than vanilla extract hence i would always use it much lesser than the extract.

I grind the vanilla bean pods with some added sugar to give it that hint of sweetness to compliment the beautiful flavor of vanilla.`vanilla paste is thicker than the extract and has a more intense flavor like I have said before and is full of those small black specs of the beans that you can see in vanilla bean ice cream,vanilla custard (both of which we will talk about in our next post) or any other fancy expensive desserts.


My vanilla bean paste will take some time to prepare but let me assure you, you wont be disappointed and every minute is worth the wait i solemnly promise.

Vanilla Bean  Paste


25-30 good quality vanilla pods/beans

6 tbsp vanilla extract (i use homemade)

11/4 cup castor sugar**,now you may use agave nectar for a healthier & less sugar version.

(you can buy agave nectar from here: )

for a no sugar or sugar free version you may use vegetable glycerin instead of sugar or agave nectar


  1. Chop the vanilla beans as fine as you can with a super sharp knife or a pair of scissors work just fine too.
  2. Now you can skip this step and go straight to the next step,but for me this step helps me a lot in making a smoother and finer paste.
  3. After chopping,in a food processor/spice blender jar put all the ingredients and pulse/blend,until the whole mix looks smooth and a fine paste.(as much as you can get it to that stage).
  4. **If you are using sugar do not use icing sugar use castor sugar. Also cook the mix for 3-4 minutes on medium flame or until the sugar dissolves and then follow the steps. 
  5. Now,take a fine mesh/sieve and put this vanilla “pulp” in it and squish and smash the vanilla with a spatula or spoon so that the finer paste comes out .Now i usually do this step twice but you can even do this once and it work just fine.
  6. Store your vanilla paste that in a air tight container in the fridge.



If you have done everything right ……you will have yourself a wonderful jar of vanilla bean paste that can be used in a variety of things but there is one thing in particular that i enjoy most in this Delhi summer  is a “No Churn Vanilla Bean Ice cream”,it is quick,it is easy peasy & guess what it tastes far better than those store bought ones…so wait for me to talk about one of those in my next post.

Vanilla Sugar




2 cups castor sugar/brown sugar(light and packed)

5-6 vanilla beans


  1. Take the vanilla pods and slit them from the middle to expose the beans so that when they come in contact with the sugar those tiny specs spread and mix well with the sugar spreading more love….
  2. Now,take you choice of sugar and stuff these pods in the sugar and store in an air tight container and let it sit for at least 3 weeks. Anything plus is better flavor and more fragrant sugar.
  3. I use this sugar in my coffee,in baking,to sprinkle my cakes and the list is endless what you want to do with it.I am sure you guys are going to have super fun with it.

I just love the way this post has come out…it was so much fun for me & I really hope it was the same for you or it is when you guys go ahead and try this at home. Remember to share this with your friends and family & spread the love it will always make your bakes taste better I promise.

This is me signing off now to go and prepare the post for that lovely “No-Churn Vanilla Bean Ice Cream” we spoke about for this summer heat.


© kissmybowl All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


liquid ingredients —— part 2

Hey you guys I am back with continuing my last post which was on liquid ingredients and this time we would talk about the left over ingredients which is eggs,butter,sugar and extracts etc.but first let me tell you that I have had the most brilliant week in ages.

I am sure most of you have heard of the brand Kitchen aid and its beautiful creation called the tilt head/bowl lift stand mixer.So i had been dying like seriously to buy one for ages and was saving in for that until we reached the figure and i went ahead & bought the new love of my life(I am sue my husband understand or so i feel*wink).The pictures will follow shortly to give you the glimpse of the beauty that now sits on my kitchen counter…..

oh! in my excitement i completely forgot the rest of the ingredients so without further ado……………here we go………



Eggs…they help to stick our baked goods together acting as the binding agent in them.They also provide enhanced texture and moisture to our products where you final product is not dense and hard.

Now we can divide our egg…i am sure most of you know that the yellow which is the yolk is the fat and white is the one that provides that fluffiness and sponginess to the cakes. Since the yolk is he fat in the egg it adds texture and great flavor to the recipes.It is usually difficult to substitute the eggs in a recipe however i would not say impossible.

There are a lot of ingredients that one can use to substitute egg in a recipe like mashed bananas,apple sauce,egg replacing powder,flax seeds,chia seeds and the list is endless.So next time you wish to replace the eggs in your recipe try and substitute it with one of these but let me tell you its going to take a lot of hell raising experiments to get the final product to get it as close to the one that uses eggs…Saying that I still love my egg less recipes and it has taken me over the years a lot of experiment and hair pulling to have the texture to die for.

There is a huge variety of eggs to choose from the market today like brown,white ,pasteurized,organic eggs and also the ones that you would find at your local stores.




Butter is a dairy product made from mostly cows milk but can also be obtained from goat,sheep,yaks,buffalo milk as well. IT has about 80% fat content  and is hard at cool temperatures and liquid at room temperature.

Because butter works in concert with other ingredients such as flour,eggs,sugar which gives texture and body to baked goods it is important to get some air fluffed inside the butter that is why most cookies require creaming butter and then sugar together.Butter is usually a success in baked goods due to its fat content and crystalline structure.

It is important to control the salt content in you baked goods so pair this with the added salt in your recipe and you’ll wind up with super salty pound cake. Salt is a preservative and therefore,salted butter stays and has a longer shelf like than unsalted butter,however they both do the same job as per me and for me…..

Sugar and extracts

Liquid sugars can be used for various reasons in a recipe,for example we add boiled sugar and water mixture to whipped egg whites in case of Swiss meringue buttercream o use it as a simple syrup to keep your cakes nice and moist. Liquid sugars like con syrup  is a food syrup made from the starch of corn, and is used in foods to soften texture, add volume, prevent crystallization of sugar, and enhance flavor,a good substitute for it in some countries is golden syrup.Liquid syrups such a molasses.maple syrup etc also help to retain moisture in baked goods,add texture and give you a flavorful baked end product.

Extracts can also be used to flavor your baked goods and make them smell & taste heavenly. My favorite one is my homemade vanilla paste and extract for using in my baked goods,it not only gives my cakes and cookies a lift in their taste but also i know its homemade(which is a good thing right??)

So here i end my final part on liquid ingredients and like I always say please do let me know if there is anything you want me to write or talk about or any information that you have that can help this blog make it better I am always happy to be there.Lots of hugs and kisses to all of you out there and see you real soooon…..




© kissmybowl All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Liquid Ingredients —— part 1

Hi guys I am back and my friend is back to her busy life fulfilling her duties of a perfect mum….its a tough job and i salute all you mums out there for looking after home,work and your sun shines…lots of hugs to them.Any ways coming to the topic ……….I LOVE RAIN…its final & I wont say it again,saying that i also believe in rainbows and so comes the statement below………

without rain there would never be a rainbow….(I am true believer of unicorns too)

I love rain…& to my delight it was raining in Delhi,but that is not the topic of our post today(I am sure you are thinking how is it relevant then?) It is because without Rain there are no rainbows & just like that without wet ingredients there cannot be a beautifully baked to perfection cake or pie dough or even my morning doughnut.Liquid plays a very important role in the art of baking whether it is as simple as water or as complex as milk(soy,nut,almond,cashew,buttermilk etc.).

we will discuss the liquid ingredients in 2 parts as there is so much to talk about and i do not wish to make it long and boring for you guys…so I have decided that i will be doing this post in 2 parts for easier understanding for all of you….

Every liquid in a recipe is there for a reason and that reason is for your recipe to be a success,so make sure you read the recipe very carefully and see what it asks for.Buttermilk is not as same as normal milk,neither is half and half same as full cream milk,so if your recipe asks for an ingredient it is for a reason…I would not say they are not inter changeable however  following the recipe is always the best and safest bet,unless you are trying to make one of your own.

As you would bake often,you would become a better baker and that my friend will help you create your own recipes,play with quantities of liquid as well as dry ingredients…but most importantly you will learn what and how each ingredient works.

Lets get started………..


The most basic yet most essential part of our lives water.It is also the most basic ingredient recipes call for assuring you the taste of your baked product wont be altered,& that is exactly what it does,other than providing moisture or help in binding(especially breads).

At the right temperature it can activate and dissolve yeast or piping hot it can accentuate the flavor of cocoa in your chocolate cake(you might want to add 1/2 tsp of coffee to it when you bake next time and see how it does wonders…Believe me..*wink*wink).


Another basic liquid ingredient that is commonly used instead of water,when you want richer texture and taste to your baked good,however it also provides the same old moisture just like water.Now,the richness of your baked product will depend on how rich your milk is & by richness I mean the fat content in your milk (imagine….the fatter you are the richer you get…I would be a MILLIONAIRE by now..*wink*) anyways so the fat content is basically written on the pack of milk you buy but most common types of milk available through the market are


whole milk…the milk which has about 3.5% fat content and like the word suggests is whole/full fat milk.

skimmed milk…is the kind of milk that is left when all the cream has been removed from it.Also known as fat free milk.

low fat the choice when you want your milk creamy but not too rich.

LACTOSE INTOLERANT??????? we have you covered darlings…..

A condition in which people cannot digest “LACTOSE”,which is basically a sugar found in milk or milk products.

well answer to this is…..

Soy milk…as the name suggests is made from soy.It is a plant based milk which is obtained by soaking dry soy beans and grinding them with water and thus has no lactose whatsoever. A lot of flavors are available in the market these days like vanilla,strawberry etc. Sofit and silk are two brands that I have usually seen online and in the general stores near my house.

Almond milk..blanched almonds are ground and squeezed and the milk produced is almond milk,which can easily be replaced for your normal milk in every day routine or in a lactose free recipe.It is available at some of the supermarkets however since made form almonds can be expensive.Silk is the brand i have seen for almond milk and comes in a packaging of 32 oz for about 230 odd INR.

Lactose free milk by Amul..I recently read about this milk and the company states that it has less than 0.01% of lactose however it is still providing the goodness of essential nutrients like calcium,proteins & pre digested lactose that helps in easy digestion of milk for all you out there who are lactose intolerant.One can easily purchase a pack of 4 from here: lactose free milk.

Rice milk is a grain milk made from rice preferably brown rice and is unsweetened.It can be made by boiling rice in large quantity of water,after which it is ground and strained and the liquid product is rice milk.You can DIY making rice milk at home or it can be found online by the brand DREAM.

Coconut Milk…is the liquid that comes out when a mature fully ripped coconut is grated squeezed and strained.The rich taste of coconut milk comes from high oil content,most of which is saturated fats.(just in case you are thinking …too much of saturated fats are not good for our health).

Saying that I remembered I completely forgot about one important milk which is not milk but made from it or lets say its a byproduct. “Buttermilk”,a very important substitute as well as an ingredient in many recipes.

Buttermilk can be referred to as many dairy drinks,but originally it is the liquid that is left behind when butter is churned or cottage cheese is made(aka whey). This can be easily be made at home if you do not have buttermilk in hand or have run out of it.

take 3/4 cup milk and add enough vinegar/lemon juice to complete one cup.Leave for 5-10 minutes and buttermilk at your service.There are a lot of brands selling buttermilk plain and flavored like Mother Dairy,Amul & Danone etc. but i prefer making my own when i am short on some however if i do buy then it is plain rather than flavored.


An ingredient which can easily replace water/milk,either by fully using it or using it as half milk and half cream.Milk and cream both not only give richness to the bake but moisture and texture as well.They also help the bake to brown on the surface.Image result for yogurt and cream

Cream is a dairy product which is skimmed off the top of the milk before homogenization.Cream can be sold in several grades and is high on saturated fats.there are various types of cream that one might find in the market today under various brands,some of them are….

Full Cream/Dairy Cream/Heavy Cream…this is the type of cream that I usually find at my local dairy in small packets of 250 gms. This cream can be tricky when whipped if too warm,it wont whip and might split.If over whipped might churn and make butter leaving behind whey(watery substance also called buttermilk).

The easiest method to whip this cream is to refrigerate everything that the cream touches.Put the bowl of cream on another bowl of ice and whip (beaters are refrigerated too) until it starts to reach soft peaks.Now you can add sugar and beat slowly and steadily until it reaches stiff peaks or the consistency you are looking for.

Whipping Cream….This is by far the easiest procedure/product to whip up a batch of whipped cream for your fresh fruit cake.There are a lot of brands in the market that are selling this in 1 ltr tetra packs.All you need to do is take out the quantity you need and whip up a batch in a few minutes without bothering to over whip your cream or to cool the accessories.The most common brands available are Rich’s,Tropolite etc.I prefer storing mine in a freezer than in a refrigerator that way it whips better and fluffier.

Dairy Free Whipping Cream….As the name mentions this cream is also a whipping cream however is for people who are lactose intolerant or vegan.It is whipped exactly the same way your normal whipped cream is whipped and one of the brands offering this is Tropolite.

Instant Powder Whipped Cream…this cream is more expensive than your other whipping creams.It comes in a sealed bag further packed in a box to avoid humidity and maintain freshness of the product. This cream is made by adding some water,little at a time(as mentioned on the box..however i add milk) and whipped until it reaches desired consistency.It is always better to add little water/milk at a time as excessive liquid can result in a soupy cream rather than a whipped one.Blue Bird is one of the most common names that I have seen through the market for powder whipped cream in 50 gram packs.


Related image

yogurt and sour cream again from the milk family…but what do they do other than adding moisture??? They make your dough/batter/cakes or pies sharper,well what we mean here is that it will give your baked goods a sharp taste,something like an edge to your baked goods when you taste them. I usually can pin point that the recipe has curd,yogurt or sour cream in it because of the distinct flavor and taste it leaves in my mouth.I also believe that that they help me cut off some off my sweetness in my muffins and breads by giving that acidic hint.

So what is yougurt?  Is it the same as curd?

the answer to your questions is yes and no… is that we’l discuss that in  a minute…

yogurt is a dairy product and is made by taking the milk,warming it up and then adding some already made yogurt to it and then I leave it in a warm place overnight or a few hours so that the good bacteria can do its job and give me a perfectly set yogurt the next day.So basically what I am doing is……

bacterial fermentation of milk using ‘yogurt cultures’. The bacteria causes fermentation of lactose and produce lactic acid. bacterial fermentation of milk using ‘yogurt cultures’. The bacteria causes fermentation of lactose and produce lactic acid.


in may countries such as India curd is also known as dahi…and is confused with yogurt. So people basically think curd and yogurt are the same thing,however in my knowledge they are two different things and curd comes from curdling the milk.

The process is simple you add acidic substance such as vinegar,lemon juice etc. to your warm,boiled milk and what it will do is curdle your milk and the substance that is formed is called curd and the left over liquid can be drained or kept (we will just talk about it) and is called whey.


what is sour cream? how is it different from yogurt or cream?

well sour cream is a mix of both and is also a dairy product obtained by fermentation of cream using some lactic acid  bacteria as base such yogurt itself.

when cream is mixed with yogurt it is set aside to set and ferment and form something that is thick such a scream itself with a sour or tangy taste so this the name …sour cream.

one would see a lot of recipes that use sour cream instead of cream,milk or even water.


OH MY GOD…I had no clue the number of oils available in the market but do they all do the same job….i hope so,because i haven’t tried using so many different oils and like to stick to the one I have used always…that is sunflower oil(its tasteless and gives a beautiful texture to my cakes or other baked goods)


Oil is usually used to replace butter or can be used with it as well in certain recipes,its job is simple to keep your baked goods nice and moist.However we need to realize that oil wont give you the richness that a butter based cake would. We need to be very careful how and which recipes to use oil/butter and the quantities that i would like to put them in in the recipe(if i am making/experimenting with my own recipe).There are a lot of oils available in the market some with flavor and some flavorless. I personally prefer the flavorless ones as they do not alter the taste of my baked product yet help retain the moisture that i am looking for in my product.I personally prefer oil based cakes(please don’t judge me) but at the same time i am huge fan of butter based cakes for thee texture,flavor and richness.

So now i use a recipe that uses both and believe me the cake that comes out is so moist,yet full of flavor (problem solved yay!!!)

some of the oils mainly used in baking are sunflower oil, soya oil,canola oil(expensive here in India) and last but not the least olive oil for a orange and olive oil cake which is to die for.

So here i end the 1st part of my liquid ingredient post. you guys are more than welcome to ask me any doubts that you might have or tell me a post or topic you would want me to write about…i am always around to help in any way i can when it comes to your baking needs….

lots of hugs and kisses to all of you and I will see you real soon with the 2nd part.


© kissmybowl All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Levure VS Bicarbonate De Soude

I am sure you guys have guessed it,it is french…but I wasn’t talking about the language I was talking about the words….I am sure the guesses did not come with the first one but with the latter word…but in case you all still haven’t guessed it,here it is straight from the horses mouth…


Now,Now I am just like you guys…I  plan a thousand different things and then put it in a box in my brain…where all my to do list is stored and then what do i do??….I go ahead and forget it….(heehe) well not that funny when the post is for you guys and I have been thinking about this one for days,probably since i started writing about the flour as this was going to be a part of the FLOUR but that post became so long that i had to cut baking powder and bicarb out & make it into a different post which i don’t regret one bit……so Let’s have you guys started… make you a better baker and give you guys a better understanding…

When i started baking this was one of the most confusing questions on this planet for me and I am sure most of you…what is Baking Powder? Is it the same as Bicarbonate of soda? Can i substitute one for another? So many questions,such little answers. Going through numerous mind boggling read through i realized there had to be a post on my blog about these two(since they were already celebs in my head…imagine the amount of attention they were getting)…any ways so I realized and here I am writing about what exactly i having been going blah!blah!blah! about……

Baking Soda/Bicarbonate of soda

What is baking soda to you?….to me its always been the white ,slightly tangy powder that we use to add to our volcano in our science exhibitions to whoosh the lava out..and guess what it always worked.So guys for your,my and every ones information Baking Soda is the Base…..when added to anything acidic(vinegar,lemon juice etc.) it reacts and fizzles out with bubbles where carbon dioxide is produced or is the by product.

so when my recipe calls for baking soda in my lovely black midnight love chocolate cake or the cookies for my aunt…this is exactly what happens the baking soda(aka..meetha soda here in Delhi at most local grocery shops…)reacts with the acid in the recipe in my case its usually brown sugar or buttermilk but it can be vinegar,cream of tartar or our very own natural cocoa powder which i have spoken about here Poudre De Cacao .This reaction helps in the rising of your cakes,cookies or breads.

Baking Soda is a strong base…much stronger than baking powder but do not confuse your self and believe to add more baking soda(believe me i learnt the hard way…..)to give your baked goods and extra lift,that is not how it works. Extra or addition to more baking powder may result in a soapy after taste in your baked goods which is not very pleasant (like I said …learnt it the hard way….).So,it is important to know & remember that baking soda reacts when heated or exposed to heat,but also needs an acidic agent to react to and be neutralized (like null & void)so that it does it leave a soapy after taste in your bakes…

Baking Powder

baking powder is a leavening agent which is dry,and has a mix of bicarbonate soda(baking soda) and a weak acid.(can be cream of tartar)& sometimes cornstarch(so I have heard). This is basically used to increase the volume but lighten the texture of your baked goods. I have recipes that only use baking powder in many vanilla cakes that I have tried and baked over the years without a flaw.

So how does this work?

baking powder reacts  and gives out carbon dioxide in the dough or batter  through an acid-base reaction,which basically helps the bubbles in the wet mixture to expand,hence leavening the batter/dough.

Baking powder therefore can be single acting/double acting(like…the double role of Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap…oh!! how much I love that movie).The acid(baking soda)in the baking powder can be slow acting/fast acting.Slow acting baking powder will not have its acid react until exposed to heat however the fast acting baking powder will have its acid react at room temperature with the wet ingredients.

Double Acting:baking powder that contains both slow and fast acting acids are usually double acting.This Double acting baking powder will usually add to the reliability of your baked goods

First Acting/leavening may occur when your baking powder reacts with the wet ingredients (this is exactly why you cannot have some batters ready and stocked up as the baking powder has already reacted).

Second Acting/leavening occurs when you bake your batter.

Now why there are recipes that only call for baking powder…this is why? because your baking powder has enough acid to cancel out the baking soda and can clearly work with only baking powder without needing an additional acidic ingredient.

Single Acting baking powder reacts with a water based ingredient or even water itself.The moment the batter is mixed this baking powder comes in contact with a water based ingredient & reacts.In this case if you wait too long to bake your cake/cookies/bread the bubbles from the reaction will escape leaving you behind with a baked product which is FLAT. This is the type of baking powder that you can easily prepare at home in case there is a dire need of (chemical X)  in some late night laboratory experiments(I always wanted to say that…since i have been reliving childhood days and watching Dexter’s Laboratory…heheh).

Now you have one but the other is missing here is the list of substitutions that help you save the world with that experiment we were just talking about….

Baking Powder (single Acting) 1 tsp ….Mix 1/4th tsp baking soda,1/2 tsp cream of tartar,1/4th tsp corn starch.

Baking Powder (double Acting) 1 tsp…..1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch. Use 1 tsp for every 1 cup of flour.

baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder (replace the acidic liquid in recipe with non-acidic liquid).

These conversations are not mine and i have not tried them myself,it was by luck that i struck GOLD and wanted to share it with you guys…..source:easy substitutes.

I have tried my best to explain to you what is in my knowledge on the two most boggling/confusing/mystifying topics.Hope you guys have a baked to perfection day…Bye from me to you,with lots of love,hugs and kisses……




© kissmybowl All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Poudre De cacao…

Poudre De cacao…one thing that can bring a smile to anyone’s face as it is added to that plain,simple butter & sugar batter and turns it into this thick,dark luscious river of chocolate for when baked that cake is the one that you have been dieting for over a month to eat….isn’t it???( I am…that is the best way I can console myself after a slice)…

Cocoa in a cake is the best hug from inside……

I am sure you all have figured out what we are going to be discussing in this post and yup It is cocoa….but just not cocoa…YES! I am going to be giving you guys all I know about cocoa beans its by products,extracts everything in this one post and i really hope this will help you solve all your problems that you ever had with COCOA or its family (*wink*wink) … we go


So what is cocoa powder?? Is it the brown,dark beautiful powder that you might add to your chocolate cakes or your fudge icing for aunt’s cake. Cocoa powder is unsweetened powder that is basically made by drying,fermenting & grinding cacao beans and extracting out the cocoa butter (which we will talk about in a short while)& the result of this process also gives you a low fat powder with an intense chocolate flavor and that my Friends we call COCOA powder,that you would use in cakes,those luscious creamy fudge cheesecakes or the fudge icing for the next cake you bake.

Alkalized Cocoa Powder

I am sure you have the question what is alkalized cocoa?have i heard that one before,so let me tell “YOU” today is the best day in the history of your baking spree,where you might have seen this term appear a million times and thought where the hell Am I going to get that kind of cocoa then let me tell you,you have heard this kind of cocoa & its called “Dutch-Processed Cocoa”.

Dutch Process Cocoa is called that because it is treated with an alkali to remove the acidity of the cocoa powder and make it less sour.This cocoa has a beautiful rich dark reddish brown color and is more palatable to the mouth since some of the acidity is removed in the process.This is usually the expensive cocoa and cannot be easily found here in Delhi however if you are on an urgent need for it ask major supermarkets such as Nature’s Basket,Le Marche or Modern Bazaar and they might be able to help you with brands like Hintz,Ghirardelli etc.You can also find them these days on major online sites with/without import duty(depending on the site you purchase from).

Natural Cocoa Powder

Clearly as the name suggests this cocoa powder is natural and has not been processed like above. So it has its acidity in its place,the bitter and stronger taste and the color is usually less deeper than it is of a dutch process cocoa powder.

For baking cocoa can matter and interchanging them may alter the taste of your baked product,since the acidity level will react with whatever leavening agent you are using in your product.So,if my recipe calls for baking soda  I will prefer using natural cocoa powder keeping in mind that the acidity level of this coca powder is higher and it will react with baking soda better.But if my recipe calls for baking powder I will like to switch my cocoa from natural to dutch process as the acidity level is lower as it has been discussed above.

But I also know that there are recipes that call for both to help with that i usually work with something in between and there are a lot of brands and companies in the market producing cocoa powder that is neither too acidic nor too less,something just right for your baked goods.However for me i go with the dutch process cocoa and it works like a charm for me(not necessarily might work for you ,but with a few experiments here and there might just hit the spot for you which one works for you the best way possible).

Hot Chocolate


Every time i speak with my family or my friends or some one who is baking a cake I often get asked …”can i use hot chocolate instead of cocoa?” and the answer by default is HELL NO !

Hot Chocolate is a powder which is made with milk solids(milk powder),sugar,cocoa(in the right amount)sometimes cinnamon be added to milk and had with nice fluffy marshmallows.It is not pure cocoa and is not extracted the way i explained and so it cannot be replaced for cocoa in your recipe.

Can i replace cocoa powder if my recipe calls for chocolate?????????????????????


like i said Yes you can replace cocoa powder if your recipe calls for chocolate and it is as easy peasy as it gets….all I do is

for every approx 30 gms chocolate/6 Tsps i take 3 leveled table spoons of cocoa powder and add approx 1 table spoon of butter and voila its sorted.

However if  you have to know the quantity for replacing cocoa with chocolate it is a much difficult task as fats,solids etc needs to be taken into consideration.(Also have not had the chance to try that so would not want to guide you in the wrong way).

Prefer using exactly what your recipe calls for.These are just substitutes/tips/tricks to help you save the day ,they might or might not work in your favour as baking is a science & one ingredient depends on the others like a chain formation.

Cocoa Butter

In the beginning of this post i mentioned something called cocoa butter and said we will talk about it in short while so now is that time when we do…

Cocoa Butter is the fat that is extracted from the cocoa beans and is used for various things like most importantly making chocolates or toiletries etc.It is usually pale yellow vegetable fat and has the aroma & flavour of cocoa.It can also be used raw for the use of painting on cakes,making chocolate thinner for colored chocolate etc.So next time when you want to or see a beautifully hand painted cake there might have been cocoa butter used(vodka or lemon extracts might also be used for the same) .


We spoke about cocoa beans in the beginning of this post and the word “BEANS” in Cocoa Beans is responsible for giving us my friends….”CHOCOLATE”….the word that has saved millions of people on Valentine’s day….

Chocolate as we know is typically sweet(can be bitter…& again I will come back to it in a minute)usually brown and prepared where the seeds are ground,roasted and infused with vanilla flavor.It can be liquid,paste or even a block(most common form).

The seeds of the cocoa tree are quite bitter and to get the flavor that we devour the moment we open a pack of Cadbury’s or Ghirardelli these seeds need to be fermented. The fermentation process help to develop the flavor in these seeds,after which they are dried,cleaned & roasted.The shells of these seeds are then removed which lead to cocoa nibs which are ground to form unadulterated chocolate mass.

the chocolate mass is liquefied which results in chocolate liquor,which is further processed to produce cocoa powder&cocoa butter.

REAL CHOCOLATE———————————-

Baking chocolate  is the mix of cocoa solids and cocoa butter in various proportions but there is no added sugar to it and that is why it is called bitter chocolate as well.Most common brand that is known to me to sell a 100% cocoa /bitter chocolate is Lindt.

The chocolate most of us enjoy today is a sweet chocolate and as the name suggests it has cocoa solids,cocoa butter,fat& added sugar showering that extra love on you and your waist line.

Milk Chocolate….this chocolate has all the above mentioned ingredients with addition to condensed milk or milk powder.It is lighter in color than the usual dark/bitter chocolate and has a pleasant taste to it. Best example I can think of at this point to clear your doubt is Cadbury’s Dairy milk.

White Chocolate….this chocolate has milk,cocoa butter,sugar but no cocoa solids,hence the white color and a milky taste.One example that i can remember for this chocolate is the Milky Bar that we use to have when we were kids.

Real Chocolate as mentioned above is further sub divided in three categories

regular chocolate is usually in the form of chips and has been processed from moderate quality cocoa beans and have low cocoa butter levels with added sugar.It is generally used for baking and can hold its shape however cannot and should not be used for dipping or molding.

couverture…the word couverture means covering and is usually called the finest quality chocolate.It is produced from the finest cocoa beans and have a high level of cocoa butter.It melts smoothly and when tempered will give a glossy finish to your chocolate.

ultra couverture chocolate is equal to the couverture chocolate however it has an even higher cocoa butter content and low viscosity.When tempered and cooled this chocolate will  give a smooth,glossy shell.


Compound chocolate contains vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter and hence its quality & taste has been compromised for the ease of buying and using it as does not need to tempered.The price of this chocolate is much lower than Real chocolate and can be found in many super markets with the brand Morde in Delhi.

having explained so much about chocolate I have come to realize that……

“I am not overweight

I am CHOCOLATE enriched”…….

I really hope I have been helpful and would love to know what do you think about this post and my blog….Please do tell me any topic you would like to me discuss,write or explain I would be more than happy to Help…Now with lots of hugs and kisses….Bye from me to you.



© kissmybowl All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.


Any one who has ever seen The Archie’s series will know exactly what I am talking about,however it is not the sugar song that I am talking is about The Sugar,that we all add to our pies,cupcakes,tarts or even CAKES…huh! who knew that.

Now coming to the point…let me start this post like I usually love to start all my posts with… A QUOTE,however just like The Sugar this is not just any quote but The Quote….

Dessert is not a Dessert without a Cake and Cake is not a cake without Sugar.

Well these are the thoughts of…Ahem, your’s Truly and by that I mean the friend who is helping Miss Nutty Bunch(that’s what I call her since she owns a business with that name) with her writing here and there. So yes this ,the last post & all the posts on basics will be by me (Anubhuti…nice to meet you guys too… (*wink*wink) and yes! you will see me around often here writing,helping and hopping (kidding…did you not know bunnies do that).

So, without further ado I am going to start explaining to you guys all that you need to know about The Sugar in our lives….the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble tiny little crystals that make you gain weight and you hate it when you are on your diet and are craving Sugar…yes! that Sugar/carbohydrates is what we are gonna start to talk about…. Lets get started!!

1.Regular/household sugar

Most commonly used in households,the grain is usually bigger than castor or brown sugar and is used in a lot of Indian desserts and tea however I do not recommend using it in baking because of the texture & size of the sugar crystals,they tend to settle at the bottom(undissolved)and make the cake heavier,also might give the cake a more grainy texture.

2.Caster sugar/super fine sugar

Now this is the sugar that you would want/love to use for your cakes,pies,desserts etc.This sugar is finer (not powdered…just finer)the texture is better and saying that this sugar easily dissolves when baked…There would be times when you do not have caster sugar on your hands and are in dire need of here is the simple solution for you to turn your regular granulated home supply sugar to caster sugar,now you could go ahead and buy caster sugar from your local supply stores,the brands available are Trust,Mawana etc.however,if you do fall short during that midnight need of the hour kind of moment where a cake must be baked no matter what….all you need to do is…

Take 1 cup of regular granulated sugar and grind it with 2-3 pulses until it is finer in texture just not powdered & you will have your self caster sugar that will easily replace your regular granulated sugar.

3.Brown sugar

As the name suggests this sugar is brown but why?? the reason behind it is molasses just like caster sugar you can make brown sugar at home but why to go through that tedious process when it is easily available in the market and can be easily be replaced by caster sugar. But in case you want to and need to all you need to do is

add molasses to your castor sugar and depending on whether you need dark or light you could vary the quantity as per you likes or as the recipe calls for.

what is Molasses??

Also known as black treacle,molasses  basically is a  by-product of refining sugar cane into sugar. Molasses varies by amount of sugar, method of extraction, and age of plant.It is most commonly made from pomegranate,dates etc.There might be a lot of brands available in the market however the most commonly available in Delhi supermarkets is Blackstrap. Well you can keep a bottle handy not only to turn your caster sugar to brown but it is extensively used during Christmas for ginger cookies to give that strong yet spicy flavor to those cookies or even cakes.

4.Powdered sugar/Icing sugar

As the name suggests this sugar is powdered and some packs might have corn starch as an added product to make the powder smoother or refined .This sugar is hardly used in cakes but can easily be a substitute for caster sugar if the recipe calls for it however what it is usually used for is making frosting,icing,dusting over baked goods,glazes etc.


This sugar is also brown in color and Jaggery( Gur ) is the main ingredient from which it is obtained.It is healthy and said to have better nutritional value than other refined sugars. One can easily replace shakkar with their daily dose of sugar however it is the taste that one might take time to adjust to.

6. Demerara

Now why would a sugar be called that? is it a company’s name?the clear answer to the latter part is no,the only reason why this sugar is called demerara is because of its origin.It comes from the region demerara,it is amber in color and has molasses added to it as well with a pleasant toffee flavor.The sugar crystals are long grained and  crunchier like raw sugar with origins from Guyana.Some recipes specifically call for this and demerara can be easily found under brands like Mawana.

7. Muscovado

That is one fancy name to call your sugar with…however there is no specific reason behind it,any manufacturer can basically give any name to a molasses rich sugar it need not be specifically called muscovado. As i just mentioned this sugar has a strong molasses flavor to it and will give a nice moist texture to your bakes especially chocolate based.It can be found in different strengths such as light,dark etc but the lighter it gets the molasses level gets lower and it can no longer be called muscovado/molasses rich sugar.Muscovado is expensive to other refine sugars available in the market as it is produced in countries like Mauritius and the Philippines.The most common name heard around locals in India is Khaand for this sugar,but it is still unsure whether the produce is the same as the muscovado sugar.

8. Jaggery

Most commonly known as Gur in India & is mainly obtained from coconut,palm or java plants. It is easily available in super markets,local groceries or even the shop opposite your house. Gur can be used for various Indian desserts,savoury dishes or sauces.

9. Vanilla Sugar

As the name suggest this sugar is vanilla infused usually with vanilla bean split into half and stuffed in a jar filled with caster or brown sugar.The jar is then kept for some time unused so that the vanilla is well infused before the use of the sugar.

This post on sugar comes to an end Bye from me to you with lots of hugs and kisses.I will see you guys real soon with my next post on something very simple,something very basic…until then…….

“Sugar,Sugar… give me a rush”……!!!



© kissmybowl All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.






my granny always use to say “where there is whisk there is always a way”

Saying that….As I opened my Fridge today morning to make my much needed cup of Morning Coffee after spending yet another sleepless night(Thanks to my 5 month old).There was brinjal,beans,some tomatoes and then my eye went to the sealed pack of fresh,ripe,red,juicy Carrots looking back at me begging to be eaten or “baked” to be precise.It was like that moment that they looked at me and said “you would love us in a cake”, So the coffee was forgotten out came the carrots and a call to my better half (by that i mean best friend) who happens to be a baking wizard(at least that’s what i believe or she makes me..hehe) asking for help with my recipe to bake a Carrot Cake. Since I have recently turned a Vegetarian (Yes. I am a recently turned vegetarian  after 30 years of eating anything and everything that moved,crawled or flew and No I don’t eat eggs either) so I was at my wits end on how to replace eggs in my recipe.

As quick as it can get I dialed her number and woke up Miss Nutty Bunch  (i call her that for a reason…she is Nuts you know…;) So after waking up my Lovely from her slumber and bugging her till she gave me some tips from her Pot of Gold on the replacements that could be added instead of eggs….& voila!! there it was freshly baked,smelling awesome The Carrot cake i had been dying to eat for days now.

ehh….what’s up Doc??

After all the tug of war with the eggs it just came to my mind that our very first official baking post should be on the basics for all those who love it and still have some basic issues,or are new to the world of baking but still want to try new things for their loved ones( I have been there…believe me).So here comes a treat for all of you reading this blog The First part in our series of Basics of Baking.

I am not a chef. I am not even a trained or professional cook. My qualification is as an eater.

– Nigella Lawson

What is baking?? to me its a stress buster,to someone an art or for someone just a reason to eat a “CAKE”…(well that’s true for me too,isn’t it for everyone…hmmmm…i wonder).

Baking as we know is the prolonged method that uses science to mix everything in the right amount ,put in the oven and then control  yourself to lick the bowl or not to open the door the first 1/2 hour ( we will talk about it real soon,in the upcoming posts on basics).

Baking for me is baking the most common thing that usually people like to start with is either “CUPCAKES” or A” CAKE.”

my very 1st cupcake..!!

So here we start with the basic things that you would or might need when you start baking.

what is the most common ingredient that goes into baking almost anything and everything ??

Flour also known as farine in french is the most commonly used ingredient when it comes to baking,especially when it comes to baking a cake. Yes there are cakes that might not use it,but most of them do and we are here to tell you all about “FLOUR” and its types and variations.

Most people think of flour in terms of wheat flour.Flour can be ground from a variety of nuts and seeds. Some types of flours that can be commonly found are arrowroot, barley, chickpea, corn, nuts, oats, potato, quinoa, rice, rye,tapioca,and wheat.

1. All purpose flour/flour/Maida

As the name suggests its used for all purposes,is most commonly & easily found at our local stores when it comes to baking or even as a matter of fact cooking. Whether you want to make a cake or an egg free version of the white sauce that you need for your pasta for your next dinner it all can be done with this “WHITE BEAUTY”.The most common brands that can be found in Delhi are Shakti Bhog,pillsbury,Aahar etc.,now that’s where i belong and have an idea about the brands from this part of the country,but it all comes to what you would like to use or what your recipe calls for…you could be diet conscious and would like whole wheat or wish to make a light airy sponge for your kids/boyfriend’s/husband’s B’day & the recipe calls for cake flour like i said there are so many flours and so much to talk about.

                                 Well having said that, is exactly what we will talk about next.

2.Whole wheat Flour

Again as the name suggests whole-wheat(regular aata that we find in every Indian household).Now this flour is usually brown in color and is derived from bran and the germ,it has a nutty texture and the breads or cakes in which whole wheat is used 100% don’t tend to rise as much as they would in APF or any others (which we will discuss further).The texture of this flour is also denser.

3.Cake flour

This flour has the least amount of protein and so because of that reason it is preferred to be used in making sponge cakes,genoise etc.It is available in supermarkets and on online sites however can be expensive.Here I will give you the recipe to substitute your regular APF with cake flour which can be used in the above sponges or if the recipe calls for.

This is a two ingredient Mix that can be easily made using Flour and Cornstarch(brands like Tops,Brown & Polson etc.)So for every cup of All Purpose flour replace 2 tablespoon of flour with cornstarch. Sift this mix 5 or 6 times and your Cake flour is ready. Use what you want and save the rest.

4. Self raising flour

Well there is a magical sound to the very name of this flour. The basic purpose of using this flour is that on every use you get the same nice rise to your Baked Product. A lot of recipes specifically ask for Self rising Flour. But if you read the recipe carefully you will notice that these recipes do not use Baking Powder and salt in them. So that is the magic of this magical flour.

All you need to do is for each cup of Flour Add 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder and 1/2 Teaspoon salt. Mix it well and you are good to go.

**reduce the liquid in the recipe somewhat,however the results are usually less tender(in my case)

**only substitute or use when the recipe calls for it.

**if the recipe asks for adding Baking powder separately then do that also with self raising flour.

5.Pastry flour

This flour is very similar to cake flour however might have slightly higher content of protein/gluten than cake flour. The recipe can be easily be replicated using the cake flour method.This flour is usually used for tarts,cookies,pie dough,muffins and sometimes even cake.

6.Gluten Free Flour:

Gluten is the protein present in Flour that helps it in rising and gives shape and chewy texture to the Baked Goods. So any Flour that is free from Gluten falls in the category of Gluten Free flour.People who have Gluten Allergies can replace their regular Flour with Gluten Free flour and Enjoy their Baked Savouries. Gluten free flour can be easily be made at home and some of the easy substitutes are using nuts like almonds,walnuts or grinding chickpea(besan),rice flour etc.

7.High Gluten Flour

This flour is usually the outcome from hard wheat and is high in fibre and protein.

8. Bread Flour

This flour is also known as hard flour/strong flour which brings us to the question why? The simple reason behind it is gluten/protein.This flour usually has higher content(12-14%) of protein than normal all purpose flour(8-11%) and you can easily make this at home by adding 1 tsp of gluten to your 1 cup of all purpose flour and you have your self bread flour which as the name suggests is used for baking breads.

9.Corn flour/corn meal

Corn flour should not be confused with corn starch because they two different things. Corn Flour is basically ground cornmeal(commonly known as Makai ka atta in India) and is easily available during winters at the local mills,it is yellow and color and has a powdery texture.This is the main ingredient in case you plan on making tortillas.

10.Corn Starch

This is usually white in color and is used as a binding agent,soup thickner and as an addition to some of the flours described above.


As the name suggests it is an Equal mix Flour. It is made by mixing Whole wheat Flour and All Purpose Flour in equal proportions. For those trying to replace All Purpose Flour with Whole Wheat Flour can use 50:50 Flour to begin with.The proportions can vary recipe to recipe.



The last 2 that I am about to describe are not Flours however can be used for the process of baking especially when you are baking breads or whole wheat cookies or any recipe that requires bread flour or bran as an added ingredient.


Basically this is the protein that you would find in wheat and a lot of supermarkets are selling this in their own packaging.All you need to do is go to your local grocery stores like Nature’s basket,modern Bazaar,Le Marche and ask for it.Adding gluten to normal all purpose flour will make it easily into home made bread flour for baking those lovelies for dinner.


This is the hard outer layer of our cereal and by cereal i do not mean your morning cheerios…Bran is the by product of your refined flour and is rich in dietary fiber, the most common brands that sell bran separately are All Bran by Kelloggs, Mantra if you are looking for an organic product etc.

Neither Sugar nor Salt Tastes good by itself.Each is at its best when used to season other things.

Love is the same way use it to “season people”

 – Vera Nazari